In yet another attempt to clone Snapchat, Facebook has launched a stand-alone app for Instagram users called “Threads” — a new camera-first messaging app that will help users stay connected to close or smaller circle of friends.
After the Facebook announcement, Snap shares fell as much as 7 percent on Thursday. Instagram claims it has over 500 million daily active users while Snap has 203 million daily users.
According to Facebook, Threads will let you share photos, videos, messages, Stories and more with your Instagram close friends list.
The app will be available for iPhone and Android users.
“You are in control of who can reach you on Threads, and you can customize the experience around the people who matter most,” said Robby Stein, Director of Product, Instagram.
Over the last few years, Facebook introduced several ways to share visually on Instagram and connect with people — from sharing everyday moments on Stories to visual messages on Direct.
“But for your smaller circle of friends, we saw the need to stay more connected throughout the day, so you can communicate what you’re doing and how you’re feeling through photos and videos.
“That’s why we built Threads, a new way to message with close friends in a dedicated, private space,” Stein added.
You can use Threads to message close friends on Instagram and you’ll have a dedicated inbox and notifications just for them.
Threads opens directly to the camera and allows you to add shortcuts, so you can share what you’re doing in just two taps.
According to Karina Newton, Head of Policy, Instagram, the company has built Threads with privacy in mind.
“Your close friends list is private and totally in your control — only you can see it, no one can request to be added to it and no one will be notified if you add or remove them from your list,” said Newton.
On Threads, there is no pending inbox with message requests, so only the people you choose to put on your list can send you a message.
“Status” is an opt-in feature on Threads for sharing what you’re up to with your close friends.
“You can choose from suggested statuses or turn on Auto Status, which automatically lets your close friends know what you’re up to without having to actively send them a message.
Facebook said that Auto Status will not share your precise location with your friends, and when Threads sends location information to our server to look up locations, it’s not stored there — this information is only stored on your device for a limited time. It is also deleted if you remove Threads.