Facebook Unveils Threads: A New Messaging App

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Here are two words to watch for the rest of 2019: Privacy and Ephemerality.

Facebook just announced a new standalone app called Threads, which will piggyback off the wildly successful Instagram Stories feature to provide an intimate, “camera-first” messaging experience between you and a select group of friends.

Utilizing Instagram’s Close Friends feature – which lets users publish Stories only to a private list of followers – Threads is a new space to quickly send photos, videos and Stories to only your closest connections. In fact, if you haven’t created a Close Friends list on Instagram yet, you must do so first before using Threads.

Threads departs from Instagram in several ways. Chiefly is its tweaked user-interface, which has been clearly designed for what the company calls “closeness in mind.” Upon opening the app, users are immediately greeted with a camera screen instead of a content feed. Second, Threads offers a proprietary Status feature, which automatically adds a status next to your name based on your activity (e.g. studying, on the move).

Threads is yet another step in ephemeral content’s march towards cultural dominance. When Instagram unveiled Stories in 2015, not even they could have predicted how fast it would take off. While short-form, ephemeral content had been on the rise ever ever since Snapchat’s 2012 debut, the past three years have witnessed ephemeral’s explosive growth across all of social media.

Are you considering taking Threads for a spin this weekend? Send us your first impressions at social@openinfluence.com.