Instagram has today announced a new standalone app called Threads which is aimed at interacting more with your close friends on Instagram. Similar to the ‘Close friends’ option while sharing your Instagram Story. you can now add your list of close friends to communicate exclusively with them via the app while still using Instagram’s full suite of creative tools, such as text, photo/video messages and emoji.
In its blog Instagram said, Threads will allow the user to easily add or remove people to and from your close friends’ list giving you a dedicated inbox consisting of only these friends. By default, the Threads app will open the camera and let you create shortcuts for people on your close friends list. If you think that this sounds familiar then you would be right because this is exactly how Snapchat works, but Instagram has never been shy of copying the features of its rivals on its apps.
However, the most interesting feature on the device is quite likely the auto-status update. When you enable it, this feature is going to allow Threads to request your smartphone’s location, movement, battery level and network connection. Using this, Threads will be able to share relevant information to your close friends. An example of this would be that Threads can automatically update your status to ‘At a Cafe’ based on the location data shared and if it senses that you are on the move then your status will reflect that.
Fearing privacy violations concerns, Instagram has made it clear that the auto-status program is completely opt-in and can be turned off at any point. As a matter of fact, Instagram has put up a whole separate post exaplaining Thread’s privacy. However, given Facebook’s patchy history with handling user data, there are bound to be questions about this new auto-status feature.
Threads in rolling out globally on Android and iOS starting today.