According to reports, Instagram is once again working on another messaging platform to combat Snapchat.
Just months after scrapping development on an initial stand-alone messaging app, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook are now internally testing “Threads,” an Instagram companion app.
Details that have surfaced note that the platform is designed to “promote constant, automatic sharing between users” which will be based on users’ Close Friends list on Instagram.
Threads will regularly update your status, giving your friends a real-time view of information about your location, speed, and more. At the moment, “Threads” does not display your real-time location — instead, it might say something like a friend is “on the move,” according to sources familiar with the matter.
The core of “Threads” appears to be messaging, and it looks very similar to the existing messaging product inside Instagram. Messages from your friends appear in a central feed, with a green dot indicating which of your friends are currently active. If your friend has posted a story recently, you can view that from inside “Threads” as well. “Threads” also has a camera, which you can use to capture photos and videos and send them to your close friends.
It’s unclear when Threads might launch. Facebook might end development before shipping the app to the general public. But Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in March that he sees private messaging as the future of the company. “Threads” appears to represent the company’s latest effort to make that vision a reality.