If you’ve tried Threads, Instagram’s new standalone camera-first DM (direct message) app, chances are you’re already hooked. If you haven’t, well, then install it and get hooked today! Threads let you connect more, and in better ways – it creates a dedicated inbox for you and your inner circle where you can use shortcuts to share photographs and videos, messages, Instagram stories and more!
Reminds you of the time Instagram copied Snapchat stories and launched its own Stories feature, doesn’t it? For Instagram, the release of Threads means carrying on parent Facebook’s policy of picking features from its rivals. For Snapchat, this could be the start of troubled times. Does Threads hold enough merit to dethrone Snapchat as the king of messaging? Let’s take the measure.
Thread is a private messaging app built around Instagram’s Close Friends feature. You can use the app to share text messages, images, video messages, along with information like your location and your device’s battery life with those in your Close Friends list. At first glance, Threads seems targeted at people that use Instagram as their primary messaging app.
But the app’s quick, constant connect functionality and inspired design makes it equally attractive to everyone that’s presently relying on other messaging apps for day-to-day communication with the people closest to them. One of the Threads’ most useful features lies in automatic sharing. If you’ve activated this feature, those in your Close friend’s list will get automatic updates and real-time details regarding your status, whereabouts, speed of movement when you’re traveling and lots more.
The very first thing to do when you install Threads is to select the Instagram account you wish to use and sign in. Next step, reorganize your Close Friends list or create one if you haven’t already done that in your Instagram account. Remember that only the individuals you pick for this list will be able to use Threads to interact with you and will be privy to what you actively share and all that you choose to share automatically. You can also toggle notifications for individual friends when creating or reorganizing this list.
Next, you’ll be prompted to create shortcuts for a select group of friends. You can choose up to 8 close friends here. Threads will create shortcuts for these chosen friends by placing their profile pictures adjacent to the camera shutter button. You can now connect or share with these individuals simply by tapping on their profile pictures.
Opening Threads will directly take you to the camera mode. The interface includes the shutter, shortcuts to your closest friends and a dedicated Home button which takes you to the message box. Tapping Home also gives you options like settings, status, themes (including a Dark Mode) and creating groups. Note that while you can view your friends’ Instagram Stories in your direct messages, you’ll be redirected to the standard Instagram app if you wish to check out their profiles.
Text messaging in Threads is identical to Instagram’s basic messaging feature. A green dot next to a profile picture indicates that the person is active at the moment. Messages received from your friends will appear in your central feed.
Threads Status is quite similar to WhatsApp’s. You can choose from available options like ‘At Home’ and ‘Chilling’ or write one using regular text and emojis. Threads’ most noteworthy feature is Auto Status which can be switched on or off depending on your preference. When it’s turned on, Auto Status can seek information such as your device’s exact location and movements, network connection and battery status.
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Threads are designed to learn from your routine and update your status in accordance. When you’re returning to the same location on a regular basis, Threads Auto Status will reflect ‘At home’ whenever if finds you at that particular place. In the same vein, your Auto Status will reflect ‘On the move’ when you’re driving, ‘Low Battery’ when your device is running short of juice and so on. If you find Auto Status too invasive, you can turn it off and manually update your status as and when you please.
Threads lets you share photographs and videos with a single tap. Simply tap on a friend’s profile picture and tap the shutter to click a photograph, press and hold to start recording a video. A quick swipe lets you share the captured image or video with the chosen individual. Threads allow you to draw or add text to the photographs. Unlike Instagram, there are no stickers or filters, a situation likely to be remedied in the coming weeks.
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The most obvious difference between Threads and its competition is the Auto Status feature. In an ideal scenario, it can help you and your dear ones connect better and faster. Imagine a situation where your friends are trying to reach you and your battery dies out. They’ll be aware of the reason you’re unreachable from being privy to your phone’s battery status through Auto Status updates. A concerned parent, partner or friend can keep track of your location while you’re traveling. In addition, the auto-update of status to indicate the level and nature of your activity can let your close friends know when you’re available to interact.
Thread’s USP lies in the fact that it’s focused on you and the people that you actually want to keep in touch with. It offers a dedicated platform to your ‘inner circle’, free of distractions and mere acquaintances that you only occasionally interact to. While this isn’t a brand new approach – WhatsApp’s groups follow the same concept, Threads is a standalone app with quicker access and sharing features. The prospect of enhanced connectivity and lightning-fast media sharing certainly adds to Threads’ appeal. Facebook has already clarified that users’ location information will not be stored on its servers. The data will only be stored on users’ own devices and will be erased when they uninstall the app.
Threads strive to offer users a clutter-free and compelling private messaging experience and succeeds quite effortlessly. Instagram’s existing user base is likely to grab Threads with both hands and the overall experience is engaging enough to steal users away from other well-loved messaging apps of the day. It seems like certain winner for Facebook!
Source – Techcrunch