New Instagram ‘Threads’ app is a simpler Snapchat clone

It's unclear to me why Instagram made this app

Instagram launched a new app called Threads on October 3rd that looks to take on Snapchat and other messaging platforms for close friends.

The app is pretty slick, and in my brief time using it, it’s quite snappy and makes it quick and easy to share photos or videos with your pals.

Setting up the app is easy. You can download it for free on Google Play Store on Android. The app will launch on iOS as well, but as of the time of writing we weren’t able to find the app.

Once you open it up for the first time, you’ll see a list of your Instagram friends. You then need to choose your ‘Close Friends’ from this list to appear in the Threads interface.

You’re then tossed into the app’s main screen, which is a reasonably basic camera interface. Along the top, there are controls for flash and which camera you’re using and a home button that takes you to a list of all of your chats. Along the bottom, there’s a camera shutter button and at least three of your ‘Instagram Close Friend’s’ profile pictures.

You can set eight short cuts along the bottom of the screen, but the default camera shutter counts as one of these slots. If you only talk to eight people on the app, you could remove it if you wanted.

Tapping or holding on the shutter lets you send a photo or a video, respectively, to whoever you choose. If you want to quickly send something to one of your friends, simply use their icon as a shutter button.

If you want to message other people within the app, tap on the ‘Home’ icon at the top of the screen or swipe down. You’ll see all of your chats here, and you can use threads like a regular messaging app. This includes features like sending gifs, stickers, making video calls and more.

You can also set a status by clicking on your icon at the top of the screen, kind of like BBM.

The app is also packing five themes, including three dark mode-esque looks and two brighter options.

Overall, this is a pretty interesting app that is oddly satisfying to use since it’s so fluid and snappy, but I don’t know if I see it taking off since most of the features it provides are already inside of the Instagram app that people currently use.

Threads is, in essence, a clone of what Snapchat is minus the ‘Discover’ section. It’s a simple/quick way to share photos and videos with your friends, but without the time limits. Really the only improvement over Snapchat is sending quick pictures to the eight people on the main screen, and I’m not sure it’s that much of a draw over what Snapchat already is.