The app, which will be called Threads, is meant for use between close friends. It will be a companion app to Instagram, allowing users to share information like where they are and how much battery life they have, as well as photos, videos and texts.
The new app is currently being tested at Facebook. Instagram was previously working on an app called Direct, but it was shelved because testers didn’t like having to use an outside app to send a message. However, the company is committed to providing a new messaging experience.
Recently, messaging workers at Instagram were migrated to the Facebook messaging team in a move to create a more direct link between the two companies.
Instagram and Facebook are reportedly gunning for an app that provides the same type of engagement as rival app Snapchat, as studies show that the average Snapchat user spends more time on the app than Instagram or Facebook users.
The app is designed to allow for constant, automatic sharing between the user and people on their “close friends” list. Threads will not display the user’s real-time location, but will show when someone is “on the move.”
Statuses can also be updated manually and will show up in the app’s feed along with messages. The company aims to automate status sharing with one-tap initiatives and phone sensors.
Threads is mainly made for messaging, and it reportedly looks like the messaging apparatus already used in Instagram. Messages from close friends will show up in a feed and will have a green dot next to them to show if they’re active or not. Stories can also be viewed from the feed.