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Instagram Unveils ‘Threads’ App for Sharing Photos with Only Your Close Friends


Facebook has added a new app to the Instagram family today. In an attempt to help users stay connected with closer friends—and hammer the final nail in Snapchat’s coffin—Facebook has released Threads from Instagram: “a new camera-first messaging app.”

Threads is an extension of Instagram’s Close Friends feature, which allows you to share photo and video stories with only a select list of friends. Given Instagram and Facebook’s recent focus on privacy, fostering community, and mental health, the company decided to brake this feature off into its own app with its own Inbox and notifications.

“Threads is a standalone app designed with privacy, speed, and your close connections in mind,” says Instagram Director of Product Robby Stein. “You can share photos, videos, messages, Stories, and more with your Instagram close friends list. You are in control of who can reach you on Threads, and you can customize the experience around the people who matter most.”

Using the app, you’ll be able to share photos, videos, and even text statuses with a curated list of close friends. The app lets you create custom statuses that will be shared with your Close Friends list through Threads, or enable Auto Status which uses your location to share “bits of context on where you are without giving away your coordinates.”

Threads is obviously built for intimate interaction with close friends only, so it probably won’t be much use to professional photographers who primarily use Instagram for branding and marketing their work. But it may bring back some of the immediacy and community of early Instagram, allowing photographers to share their work with only their closest friends and fellow shooters, solicit feedback, and … well … avoid the trolls.

Threads is rolling out globally today for both iOS and Android. Follow the links to download the app and try it out for yourself once it’s available in your region.