Instagram Announces Threads, A New Camera-First Chat App For Close Friends!

Instagram's 'close-friends' feature just got it's own app...
instagram thread launch

You can also call it Instagram’s version of Messenger, but here it is. Threads by Instagram is a more private Instagram, minus the regular Instagram fun. Launched by Facebook-owned Instagram earlier today, Threads is supposed to let you share your life moments with your closest friends, fast and easy. Here’s everything you need about the new standalone app.

What is Instagram Threads?

Threads is a “camera-first messaging app” developed to help people stay even more connected with the people who matter. The app shall let users share more of their life visually, like through stories, or direct messages, with close friends. Users will be able to constantly share what they’re up to or how they’re feeling through photos, videos, text messages, and quick statuses, in a “private” space.

How does Threads work?

Threads takes your close-friends list from Instagram and lets you share more of your life moments with them. If you haven’t created a close-friends list on Instagram yet, Threads will let you create one when you sign in. After you have this list of friends, you can start sharing photos, videos, and text with them. The app consists of three main screen-sections: Camera, Inbox, and Status.

Camera

Instagram Announces Threads, A New Camera-First Chat App For Close Friends! 1

This will be the default screen you’ll land on when you open the app. Similar to Snapchat, you will be able to take quick photos and videos. There are no filters or stickers available, and you can choose to save the photos and videos you take to your phone’s gallery. Tapping on the shutter button takes a photo, holding down on it records a video.

After you’ve clicked a photo or recorded a video, you can add draw on them or add text, and then select to share your clicks and videos with the people you select (from your already selected ones), or to everyone on the close friends list at once. You can also pin your closest friends alongside the shutter button. Talking of buttons, there are three buttons at the top of the camera viewfinder screen: flash toggle, home, and camera-switcher. Tapping on the home button takes you to the Inbox page.

Inbox

Instagram Announces Threads, A New Camera-First Chat App For Close Friends! 2

This is self-explanatory. This page houses all direct messages with close friends. You can still access these chats in the Instagram app as well. Group chats are also possible if all of the people in the chat are your close friends. You can view your friends’ stories by tapping on their profile picture, and you can also call friends by tapping on the camera button inside a chat page.

On the top of this page sit three buttons, again. The left-most being a hamburger-menu button, the camera shortcut on the right, and your profile picture in the middle with your status emoji. You can enter the menu to publish your status, edit your close firends list, set an app theme (that somehow also themes the app icon), and explore other app settings.

Status

Instagram Announces Threads, A New Camera-First Chat App For Close Friends! 3

This sub-page will let you set your current mood or activity, accompanied by a matching emoji. You can access this section from the app’s menu (by tapping on the hamburger button in the Inbox page).

What’s new though, and creepy too, is the Auto Status feature. This feature lets Threads constantly monitor your location, battery, movement, sensors, and network connection, to automatically publish status updates for you. For example, the app shall automatically set your status to ? Shopping if it finds that you’re in a shopping mall, or ? At a beach if your phone is located at/near a beach, or ??‍♀️ Biking when it detects that you’re riding a bike, so on and so forth. This feature doesn’t reveal your GPS coordinates to your friends, though.

Basically, Auto Status lets Threads (and ultimately Facebook) keep a track of what you’re up to, 24×7. Thankfully, this is turned off by default, and you’ll be asked whether you want to turn it on while first setting up the app. You can also toggle it later from the app’s menu.

Threads vs Instagram

Threads is clearly not a replacement to Instagram. Instead, it’s just an extension of the close-friends feature, letting you stay connected with your best buddies and mates. Like said, at the time of writing this post, Threads doesn’t have Instagram’s fancy filters and stickers, you can’t upload GIFs as your stories, and you can’t view your friends’ profiles from within the app. Of course, there’s no IGTV, no perks for business profiles, and a heap of other stuff is missing. That’s because the app is meant to be fast and simple, which it seemingly is, except the Auto Status thingy.

Instagram Threads App Download

Threads is available for Android and iOS starting today. You can download the app from your respective app stores.

That’ll do it for this quick article.

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