What you need to know

  • Instagram is said to be working on a standalone messaging app known as Threads.
  • Threads will be a traditional messaging app and also allow users to share their real-time location.
  • It's unclear when Threads is going to launch.

Instagram is reportedly working on a new standalone messaging app that will allow users to share their status, location, and more. The Verge got an early look at the app in action and said it looks similar to Instagram's current messaging feature.

Known as Threads, the app is allegedly meant to be a companion app to Instagram, emphasizing the social network's "close friends" feature that launched late last year.

In addition to typical messaging capabilities, including texting, sharing photos, and sending videos, Instagram Threads will allow users to automatically share their location, speed, and battery life with friends and family.

The app will also display user Stories, The Verge said, a feature that's become a core part of Instagram over the past few years. The goal of Threads is reportedly to encourage more engagement from Instagram's most diehard users, keeping people inside the app and connected to its service.

Instagram has gone down this road before with Direct, a messaging app that allowed Instagram users to communicate with each other away from their main feed. Development on Direct was ultimately stopped back in May, with Instagram saying that beta testers were frustrated by having to switch between two apps.

It's unclear if or when Threads will launch to the public, and there's always the possibility it could get shelved. The Verge's report said Instagram declined to comment on the story.