In news that will not surprise anyone, Instagram has confirmed that it is shutting down its standalone messaging app ‘Threads’, which it launched back in 2019, essentially as a Snapchat alternative to connecting close friends.
As you may or may not remember, Threads is a messaging app that was originally designed to keep in touch with your Instagram inner circle, making it easy to share text, photos and videos only between those involved on your Instagram. ‘list of close friends.
But then, in October last year, Instagram announced an update of Threads that would include all your Instagram messages, not just those of close friends, which basically did just like any other messaging app. The only variant with Threads now is its ‘auto-status’ option, which alocates the emoticon status update for each user without the need for manual entry, by assuming what each user could do at any time based on their location, movement, phone battery level, etc.
So there’s not much reason for people to open a separate messaging app, especially now that all their Instagram and Messenger chats are already integrated, simplifying the connection to the two most popular messaging options (which will soon be WhatsApp).
As such, it makes sense for Instagram to shut down Threads, which has now been confirmed to TechCrunch in the middle various rumors online.
According to Instagram:
“We know that people care about connecting with their close friends, and we’ve seen this in particular in recent years with the rise of Instagram messaging. We are now focusing our efforts on improving the way you connect with close friends on Instagram and on ending the Threads app. ”
Instagram further notes that it will endeavor to bring the ‘fun and unique features’ of Threads into the main Instagram app, which will likely, in the end, include an automatic status option.
As noted by the application researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, Instagram is already working on it, and while this initial prototype still doesn’t indicate automatic status, it seems, logically, where it’s headed, which would essentially completely negate the need for Threads.
It is unlikely that many will miss the application.
In its first month after launch, Threads reached around 374 thousand downloads, which is significantly less than previous standalone Instagram apps, such as IGTV and Boomerang, while looking at the app’s performance on App Annie charts has since suggested that Threads has since struggled to gain any significant traction. Threads is likely to have fewer than 100,000 users at the moment – and again, with Meta looking to integrate its messaging options and facilitate more sharing between apps, the existence of Threads is indeed at odds with a broader focus, indicating its demise.
Instagram says Threads will no longer be supported until the end of December, and warnings will be issued to users in the coming weeks.
If you’re one of the few Threads users, it’s time to go back to real IG or find another alternative for your close group chats (like, say, Snapchat).
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