Instagram is attempting to create a companion messaging platform, which will allow users to share media as well as real-time location, battery life and speed with friends.
The Verge is reporting that the new app, called “Threads,” will work as a companion to Instagram, similar to how Messenger works in tandem with Facebook. Threads will reportedly invite users to automatically share their location, speed and battery life with friends, alongside the typical text, photo and video correspondence users would send with Instagram’s creative tools.
“Opt-in to automatic sharing and Threads will regularly update your status, giving your friends a real-time view of information about your location, speed and more,” The Verge report said. “At the moment, Threads does not display your real-time location — instead, it might say something like a friend is ‘on the move,’ according to sources familiar with the matter.”
Screenshots show that the app, which keeps users connected through “threads” of information, gives you the option to “let your phone set your status for you” based on changes in where you are and what you’re doing.
When it comes to the actual messaging experience, Threads will look a lot like what’s available in Instagram right now. Friends from messages will appear in a central feed, with a green dot indicating who’s active. Stories from friends will also show up in Threads, which is hardly surprising. Also, the app will get its own camera access that will let you capture photos and videos during chats.
Threads shares a likeliness to Snapchat, where users can maintain “streaks” by constantly sharing information with each other.
Threads is also Facebook‘s “latest assault on Snapchat,” explains the report, as Facebook may be looking to encourage Instagram users to spend more time inside its app rather than Snapchat. Threads, however, will not be incorporated within the Instagram experience, as it will be a distinct chat app that will need to be installed independently.
Facebook has yet to say when Threads would launch to the public. Instagram had previously worked on a direct messenger app called Direct, though the company ended work on that in May. Facebook also recently merged the Instagram and Facebook Messenger teams, though it’s not clear how that impacts Threads.