Instagram Threads: Do we really need another messaging app?

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With a multitude of messaging apps to pick from, adding another to the mix seems almost pointless. Yet, that’s exactly what Instagram is trying to do. The Facebook owned company recently announced that they’re working on a new messaging app called “Threads”.

What does Instagram Threads offer?

Designed as a companion app for Instagram, Threads would essentially invite users to automatically share details such as location, speed and battery life. Interestingly, people are okay with sharing their location and speed, but why we would want to share the battery life of our devices is not so clear.

Instagram Threads
What Instagram Thread looks like, according to The Verge (Image Credits: The Verge)

In addition to these details, you can also send text, photo and video messages via Instagram’s already existing tools. One thing that should be noted is that Instagram Threads is designed to share messages with your close friends list on Instagram.  

If you recall, Instagram had another app called Direct. This was a standalone messaging app. But when Facebook shutdown Direct in May 2019, all conversations on Direct automatically moved to Instagram. With Threads, Facebook is presumably aiming to give Instagram users a similar experience when using Facebook Messenger.

Instagram Threads
With Instagram Threads, you can send your location, speed and battery percentage to your Close Friends list on Instagram (Image Credits: 9to5Mac)

As such, messages from close friends appear in a central hub of sorts. A green dot would indicate which friends are currently active. In addition, Threads would also allow users to quickly read stories posted by their friends and have its own camera function as well.

Why would Instagram need another messaging app?

Well, that’s an interesting question. For starters, it could be that Facebook and Instagram are aiming at Snapchat’s engagement, especially among younger users. According to reports, snapchat users spend more time in Snapchat than Instagram users spend in the Instagram app. So if Facebook can attract people to spend more time on Instagram it’s a win for them, even if it’s only amongst close friends.

Instagram Threads
The Holy Trinity of Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram (Image Credits: Engadget)

On the other hand, with Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to integrate WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger, this might just be a plan to show that these components are too tightly bonded to breakup. In addition, since Instagram Threads is currently only available internally, if it fails, then Facebook and Instagram also don’t have to worry about it getting bad publicity. After all, is an app actually real if it was never released to the public?

A launch date for Instagram Threads is still not available. In fact, as we said above, it might not be released at all. But with Zuckerberg’s vision of private messaging playing a pivotal role in the company, Instagram Threads seems to be the way that the company wants to make that happen.

Do you really want another messaging app?

For the average user though, it means downloading an additional app. If you’re not the type of person to keep posting Instagram stories every two minutes or documenting each and everything that they do, then you, like me, will probably use Instagram Threads for a few days and then proceed to uninstall it.

That is of course, unless Instagram Threads becomes the only way to message people on Instagram. Then, we might have a problem. But with all things in life, only time will tell.

Would you use Instagram Threads? Leave a comment below

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