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This article was published on October 7, 2020

Instagram Threads is now basically a dedicated message app

Instagram Threads is now basically a dedicated message app

Threads, Instagram’s dedicated app for messaging your friends, is getting an update that makes it more useful. Specifically, Threads is now an Instagram Direct messaging app that you can use to communicate with anyone, though it still puts an emphasis on your close friends.

The update was first spotted by TNW’s favorite app update guru, Jane Manchun Wong, who tweeted the update information. The Threads app information on the App Store also notes you can now use it to speak to everyone in your DMs, whether or not they have Threads. The update info reads, “Now you can access all of your Instagram messages” but also notes, “Your chats with close friends will be prioritized in your inbox.”

If you’ll recall, my main beef with Threads when I first tried the app was that I didn’t really want or need an app specifically for talking to two or three people. No matter how much you might like those couple of people, sure you could just use Instagram Direct to message them. Now it appears Instagram’s addressing that by making Threads have a two-tabbed inbox. One is for your Close Friends, and the other is for Everyone Else.

Instagram’s tried to make a standalone Direct app before, but it’s now defunct, and presumably Threads is taking its place. Naturally, it begs the question of whether this is part of Facebook’s efforts to consolidate its many disparate apps. It wouldn’t seem so at first, because it’s yet another app, but Facebook can more easily introduce features common to its other messaging apps to Threads than to Instagram itself. It’s not yet done so, but its attempt to expand its utility shows some interest in making the app useful. It’s not as though Facebook has an issue with sunsetting apps that no one is interested in.

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