So this might be of interest to the few people still using Instagram’s ‘Threads’ app.
As shared by both Matt Navarra and Jane Manchun Wong, Instagram has announced a new update for Threads which adds full messaging functionality into the app, which, as TechCrunch notes, essentially makes it like Instagram’s discontinued ‘Direct’ app, but with auto-status updates.
At launch, Threads only integrated messages from those you’d denoted as ‘close friends’ in the main Instagram app, but now, as you can see here, all of your Instagram messages will be displayed within Threads, giving you another way to stay in touch will all your contacts across the two platforms.
That also, theoretically, should add the extra value of being able to access your Messenger messages in your Threads inbox, with Instagram recently launching the integration of Messenger and Instagram Direct messaging, part of its broader messaging integration plan. But actually, no it won’t – Instagram has told TechCrunch that the Messenger integration capacity will not be available within Threads.
So, cool, right? Now people who use Threads can keep in touch with more of their messaging interactions – though only their Instagram ones, not their Messenger interactions. They’ll be able to see them within Instagram, but not Threads.
Okay. I mean, it’s something, right?
I guess I probably doesn’t matter a heap, because according to available data, not many people actually use Threads either way.
In its first week of availability, in October last year, Threads was downloaded 222k times. For comparison, Instagram’s standalone IGTV app saw an estimated 1.5 million downloads in its first seven days, while its Boomerang app reached 2.8 million downloads.
In its first month, Threads reached around 374k downloads, according to reports, and a look at the app’s performance on the App Annie charts suggests that it’s struggled to gain any significant traction since. Download numbers also don’t reflect active usage – if Threads is seeing an average of 200k active users, that wouldn’t be a huge surprise.
In some ways, it seems strange that Instagram is even bothering to roll out an update for the app, as it doesn’t seem like it’s been a big success. The key, distinctive feature of Threads is ‘auto status’, which allocates an emoji representation of what you’re up to at any given time, without your input, based on your location, your movement, your phone’s battery level, etc.
Which is kind of interesting, and maybe helpful for your close friends. But it doesn’t necessarily require its own app – in fact, Facebook actually started testing the same functionality within Messenger earlier this year.
Which seems like the ultimate outcome for Threads – a testing ground for this feature, which eventually sees it integrated back into Facebook’s other messaging apps.
But, if you are using Threads, now it’s been updated. Though I wouldn’t get too attached to the app.