Instagram has actually rolled out an update to the Threads app, and it’s a quite huge change. While Threads previously only enabled you to message close buddies (that is, accounts you ‘d added to your “Close Friends” list on Instagram), you can now use it to message any Instagram user.
I’m not the only user of Threads– some 220,000 individuals were utilizing Instagram’s Threads app as of last year. And it’s not difficult to see why Threads isn’t that popular– it essentially takes some things you can already do with Instagram and asks you to do it on a various app.
However I utilize Threads since it just feels intimate. It’s the only messaging app where there’s no scrap, no little talk, no enormous group chats to silence and disregard. And you can send any Close Pal a picture or video with the click of a single button, on the home screen, through an interface strangely comparable to that of Snapchat.
I get why Instagram is making this change. The ability to DM any user makes Threads more broadly beneficial to people who don’t use the Close Buddies function. Facebook also just recently released cross-platform messaging on Instagram and Messenger, bringing some of Messenger’s features to Instagram’s DMs. Instagram states that cross-platform messaging won’t be allowed for Threads, but it reveals that the company is making an effort to integrate its different services and draw more clients in.
The update, very first found by Matt Navarra and Jane Manchun Wong on Twitter, isn’t that huge of a modification in practice. The app still separates your DMs into tabs for “Close Friends” and “Everybody Else.” The user interface looks almost identical. Notices are just enabled for Buddies by default, though you can alter that.
Instagram Threads app has basically end up being the Direct app reborn with the latest update that allows messages with anyone, not just friends pic.twitter.com/5JwGDhlejd
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) October 6, 2020
Still, this update is a modification to the viewpoint of Threads. And without that viewpoint behind it, I’m unsure what makes Threads unique. I don’t see why I must use it over routine Instagram DMs, not to mention Messenger, Snapchat, and all the other things I already have at my disposal. Sure, I’ve constantly had the alternative to utilize those apps to message my close good friends. However Threads only included those individuals, and that exclusivity made it appealing for me. Threads felt various.
And while Threads didn’t do a lot, it was really good at the one thing it did– making it super easy to strike up your preferred individuals. If it continues to expand into a multipurpose product more comparable to Instagram Direct, I hope it does not lose that focus.