Facebook is developing a new standalone messaging app, titled ‘Threads’, that would work as an extension of the Instagram ‘Close Friends’ feature.
Threads encourages users to join group chats with their best friends, creating a space where they can send messages and share private story updates.
The app, which is currently undergoing internal testing at Facebook, will have tools that help friends share their location, battery life and speed on a centralised news feed.
Exclusive screenshots were shown to The Verge, but Instagram and Facebook declined to provide official comment. Writer Casey Newton speculated that Threads could be Zuckerberg’s latest effort to take down Snapchat.
Innovative features such as Snap Map, which allows users to track the location of one another, are reportedly among the main reasons why Snapchat users keep coming back.
Facebook is looking to increase its focus on instant messaging as it tries to benefit from the popularity of its subsidiaries. The strategy change is accelerating as daily active user numbers continue to dwindle on its main platform.
At the start of 2019, it announced that Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram were going to be combined into one messaging network. While the trio would still exist as standalone apps, the ambitious project would make it easier for people to message one another without switching platforms.
In April, tech tipster Jane Manchun Wong revealed that Instagram looks set to be included in Facebook Dating. Code allowed singles to connect their Instagram and Dating profiles and share the latest photos from their feed with potential matches.
Read more here.