Facebook is once again pulling from Snapchat's playbook with their new companion messaging app for Instagram called Threads, which is currently being tested out by the company’s employees, The Verge reports.
Threads is "designed to promote constant, automatic sharing between users" that will be determined by their Instagram "close friends" list. It’s this element of private messaging that has alluded Facebook in their ongoing rivalry with Snapchat, which is already outperforming Instagram in daily engagement among its younger users.
Threads will reportedly present users with the option of providing regular status updates that contain a "real-time view of information about your location, speed, and more," but instead of detailing your exact location, it will relay something more general, like you're "on the move."
Judging from the mock-ups from The Verge, the Threads interface will not look all that different from Instagram's current messaging feature where users you have shared direct messages with are listed in a central feed with green dots
snitching indicating if you're active at the moment. Their profile avatar can prompt you to view their Stories, and Threads doesn't appear to veer away from that layout.
Threads being tested internally doesn't mean its arrival is a foregone conclusion. The Verge points to Instagram scraping the stand-alone messaging app Direct a few months ago after it had been in development since late 2017. If Threads suffers the same fate, Facebook will continue searching for a private messaging app that rivals Snapchat because their CEO Mark Zuckerberg whole-heartedly believes that this is the future of his company.