Instagram steals from Snapchat for new Threads app


Instagram has yet another standalone app.
Photo: Instagram

Facebook-owned Instagram launched a new standalone app today that pretty much steals some of Snapchat’s key features.

Threads, rolling out globally to iOS today, is built around Instagram’s Close Friends feature, giving you a quicker way to message the people you care about on Insta the most.

Like Snapchat, Threads opens directly to the camera and lets you share something with just two taps. In a blog post detailing the new app, Instagram said Threads is designed privacy and speed in mind.

It looks like another blatant attempt to entice more people to ditch Snapchat and Wall Street is worried. At this point, one of the only Snapchat features Facebook hasn’t ripped off yet is the Lens Studio that lets anyone create fun filters. You can bet Zuck’s minions are already working on that too though.

Snap shares were trading down nearly 7% when news of the app broke this morning.

What’s cool about Threads?

Statuses are Threads’ most unique feature.
Photo: Instagram

One interesting addition in Threads is its new status feature. It’s basically a resurrection of the statuses feature back when MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger used to be the closest things to social networks. Users can create their own status or pick from a suggested status.

On the creepy side, there’s an option to turn on Auto Status. This automatically shares bits of info about where you are without giving away your exact position. Your status is only shared with close friends, but considering how untrustworthy Facebook has been with data, many users might think twice before opting into the feature.

If you’re a big Instagram Direct user, you can still find all of your Direct messages in the Threads app. Other than that, it sounds just like the messaging part of Snapchat without all the crappy vertical TV shows. Instagram has become the main messaging platform for tons of young people so there’s a real chance that Threads could be a big hit by letting you hone in on just conversations with people you care about.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.