In case you don’t know, Threads is a messaging app for your Instagram inner circle – Threads provides a collection of fast, easy options for sending a text, photo, and video updates to a chosen group of friends, which are defined by your Instagram ‘close friends’ list.
Instagram has announced a new update for its standalone Threads app, which despite seemingly not gaining massive traction is still holding on, a year after its initial release.
However, after a new update to include all of your Instagram messages, not just those from close friends, Threads is now like every other messaging app, with its main differentiator being its ‘auto-status’ option, and that allocates an emoji status without manual input, making an opinion of what you’re up to at any provided time based on your location, your phone’s battery level, your movement, etc.
At the moment, the Instagram threads app will have some new tricks. First off, Instagram’s adding a new Status tab in order to help people keep up to date, besides interacting with their close friends’ statuses and stories.
As you can see in the above screenshot, the Instagram Threads apps is now also getting a new tabbed navigation system, along with three options to swipe into the app. Moreover, that format is similar, in some ways, to Snapchat, with your status notifications from close friends on one side, then all of your Instagram message threads on the other, with the camera composer taking up the central space.
The importance of the reformat is most definitely on status, besides facilitating connection with friends through what they’re up to. That means that now, you’ll be able to browse through the Status listing and see, for instance, which of your best buddies are exercising, or even having coffee, later maybe you can get in touch and go join them, facilitating in real-life connection (COVID-19 restrictions pending).
The message tab is an extension of the full messaging functionality which was added to the Instagram Threads app last month, which gives Threads users access to all of their Instagram messages, not only those from people on their Close Friends listing.
Furthermore, regardless of the recent integration of Messenger and Instagram messages, Messenger interactions won’t be made available in Threads. So it’s your Instagram messages in another app, minus your Messenger chats, making it a less good version of Instagram Direct, however, with emoji status updates.
Talking more about the Instagram Threads app, Instagram says that Threads users can now also take a photo or video and share it to their Instagram Story via Threads.
Furthermore, In its first month after launch, the Instagram Threads app reached around 374k downloads, according to reports, which is significantly down on Instagram’s previous standalone apps, such as IGTV and Boomerang. A look at the app’s performance on the App Annie charts since then suggests that Threads has struggled to get any meaningful traction since. Moreover, if Threads is seeing an average of 200k active users, that wouldn’t be a huge surprise.
The focus for Facebook’s messaging apps more broadly is definitely on integrating Messenger, Instagram Direct, plus WhatsApp, and that to make it easier for users to stay connected across its social media platforms. That opens up a variety of opportunities for eCommerce, engagement, etc. But where Threads fits into that wider picture is unclear.
The inbox tab is now available to all Threads users, and the Status tab will be rolled out from November 19th.