Threads, a companion app to Instagram, allows you to quickly send messages, photos, and videos exclusively to specific people on your close friends list on IG. You can also set a status to let your circle know what you’re currently up to, similar to our childhood Yahoo Messenger days. It’s ultimately Facebook and Instagram’s swing at Snapchat, the photo messaging app that remains popular with the younger crowd.
As per Robby Stein, Instagram’s Director of Consumer Product Management, in an interview with TechCrunch, he says Threads was built to promote a private space for “persistent connection,” with the people that actually matter. Meaning you won’t have to worry about questionable strangers sliding into your DMs, or creeps leaving you a message.
Upon opening Threads, it has three easy-to-use features. The first is the camera which, much like Snapchat, pops up when you click the app. From here you can take photos and videos to immediately send to your friends, but take note that filters aren’t available just yet. If you have two to three buddies that you constantly chat with, you can select their profile picture to show up at the bottom of your home screen, much like your phone’s shortcut feature, and easily tap their photo to send your snap or video.
The second feature is the inbox which acts a lot like your direct messages on IG, but will only connect with your set of “Close Friends.” Finally, the third component of Threads is the status or auto-status feature, which, as mentioned above, lets you put up a short message indicating your current situation, whether you’re swamped at work, on the road, or just lounging at home. If you’re too lazy or busy to set it yourself, Threads can set it up for you, and that’s where the tricky part comes in.
By doing so, you’re allowing the app to record your location and essentially take note of your private data. Though quite questionable given the recent social media data privacy issues as of late, Threads' developers assures users that the app will ask for their permission before putting up the status its generated, and that it will only come up with a vague idea of your whereabouts for context instead of the exact place.
To quell your worries they even released a separate statement regarding the possible issue:
“Threads will request your location, movement, battery level and network connection from your phone in order to determine what context to share. For example, Auto Status might use your precise location to show your friends that you’re “At a cafe.” Or Auto Status might detect that you’re biking and set your status to “On the Move.” Before this is enabled, you’ll be told what information Auto Status is requesting and will be asked to specifically agree. Auto Status will not share your precise location with your friends, and when Threads sends location information to our server to look up locations, it’s not stored there—this information is only stored on your device for a limited time. It is also deleted if you remove Threads.”