Instagram to close companion app Threads by year-end – TechCrunch

Instagram’s standalone messaging app Son is stopping. The app will no longer be supported by the end of December 2021, the company confirmed to TechCrunch after reports started circulating via social media about its impending shutdown. Instagram plans to alert its existing Threads users with an in-app notice starting November 23, which will keep them coming back to Instagram to message their friends in the future.

Threads was first introduced in 2019 as Instagram’s companion app shortly after the company shut down its other standalone messaging app, Direct. Instead of focusing solely on the inbox experience, Threads was designed as a “camera-first” mobile messenger designed to be used to post status updates and stay in touch with those. who you have referred to as your “close friends” on Instagram. However, the app has not been adopted by the general public. But instead of iterating on the experience, Threads received little attention until a redesign last year that made it possible to message everyone – not just “Close Friends” – like Direct l ‘had already proposed.

While the app offered a way to update your status – or even update it automatically, depending on your location – it had been difficult to navigate between the different sections of the app until the redesign. of 2020. With the update, Instagram has tried to make it easier to switch between friends stories, the camera interface, and other parts of the experience. However, it still didn’t work as a quick way to read your posts and didn’t gain popularity as a result of the changes.

The app is now ranked # 214 in the Photo & Video category on the US App Store – an indication of its continued failure to attract a larger audience. It also received an average rating of 3.1 stars out of 2,500 reviews, as users complain about its usability, layout, missing features, and issues. To date, Threads has seen around 13.7 million installs worldwide on the App Store and Google Play, according to estimates from app intelligence firm Sensor Tower.

The shutdown comes as Meta (formerly Facebook) is revamping its messaging platforms. After Threads’ debut, Facebook made Messenger and Instagram interoperable, meaning Instagram users could message their friends on Facebook and vice versa. The updates also included a host of new features, such as ways to co-watch videos, react with emoji, change chat color, and more. Ultimately, the company wants to include WhatsApp in this cross-platform messaging experience.

Of course, these changes raised the question of where this leaves a smaller companion app like Threads.

The app closing message was first spotted by reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi, and subsequently written by smaller blogs. But Instagram had yet to confirm the details publicly as the message was not showing to app users yet.

The company told TechCrunch that its decision to shut down Threads was due to the fact that many of its most popular features, such as automatic captions and status, have been rolled out or are currently rolling out on Instagram. Instagram also felt it could better focus its messaging efforts by not splitting its attention between two different apps.

“We know people care about connecting with their close friends, and we’ve seen this especially over the past few years with the growth of messaging on Instagram. We’re now focusing our efforts on improving the way which you connect with close friends on Instagram and on the depreciation of the Threads app, “an Instagram spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch.” We are bringing the fun and unique features we had on Threads to the app. main Instagram, and continue to create ways for people to better connect with their close friends on Instagram. We hope this will make it easier for people to have all of these features and capabilities in the main app, ” they added.

The company has announced that it will release new messaging features to the main Instagram app in the coming months.

On November 23, All Threads users on iOS and Android will start seeing notifications that the app will be closed by December, and the Instagram Help Center will also display a notification that Threads will no longer be taken. in charge. When app support ends, existing users will be logged out and the app will be removed from the App Store and Google Play. When the app closes at the end of the year, all Threads features will be available on Instagram’s main app.

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