Sooo... it's here. Instagram's new standalone messaging app, 'Threads'.

According to Instagram, the new app was designed to ‘help you stay connected to your closest friends’. So, if you’re a fan of Instagram’s close friends feature, you’ll love this new app!

Read our previous blog to find out the prospective ideas for this new app before the launch.

Here’s everything we know:

Instagram says “Over the last few years, we’ve introduced several new ways to share visually on Instagram and connect with people you care about – from sharing everyday moments on Stories to visual messages on Direct. But for your smaller circle of friends, we saw the need to stay more connected throughout the day, so you can communicate what you’re doing and how you’re feeling through photos and videos. That’s why we built Threads, a new way to message with close friends in a dedicated, private space.”

The app was designed with privacy, speed and people’s closest connections in mind. You can now share photos, videos, messages, stories and more with your close friend list via Threads. “You are in control of who can reach you on Threads, and you can customise the experience around the people who matter most.”

set up contact shortcuts
Set up a maximum of 8 contact shortcuts on your camera

The main features of Threads

Dedicated inbox for your closest friends

Last year, Instagram introduced their close friends feature, which allows you to share more personal updates with your closest friends (a group of select people you can choose). Now, you can use Threads to message these people, with a dedicated inbox just for them.

When you open the app, it will ask you to pick your people: if you ‘uncheck’ someone from this app, it will also remove them from your close friends list.

If you’re not using Instagram’s close friends feature yet, you can set this up directly from the Threads app.

Close friends list
Confirm your close friends list for Threads
See closest friends in your camera
Send your closest friends photos directly from your camera

Instantly share photos and videos

“Threads is the fastest way to share a photo or video with your close friends on Instagram.” As soon as you open the app (once you’ve set it up), it opens directly to the camera (similarly to Snapchat) so you can share what you’re doing in just two taps.

Camera feature on Threads
Camera feature on Threads

Regular status updates show your friends what you’re up to

Instagram users have been demanding ways to stay more in touch with their closest friends throughout the day without having to send a text or photo, and this has finally been answered! Threads has a feature called ‘status’. “You can choose from a suggested status (📚 studying), create your own (😅 procrastinating), or turn on Auto Status (🚗 on the move), which automatically shares little bits of context on where you are without giving away your coordinates. Only your close friends will see your status, and it’s completely opt-in.”

Auto status feature on Threads
Turn on Auto Status to let your friends know what you're up to

Because one of Threads main focuses was privacy, all of these features are opt-in only and you are in complete control with whom you share your status with.

You can learn a lot more about Threads’ privacy controls here.

Can I still use DM’s on the Instagram app?

The good news is yes! You can still use Instagram messaging in the exact same way as before. Threads simply allows you to have a new dedicated home for your favourite conversations. “Messages from your close friends list will appear in both Threads and Direct, so you have full control over how and with whom you want to interact.”

You might be thinking (like we were) what’s the point of this new app? The main positive of Threads is that instead of having to check Instagram all the time, where you might get distracted by other messages or endless scrolling, 'Threads allows you to stay focused on your real friends and respond quicker to their messages'.

When you receive a message, you will get a special notification (there is a feature on Threads where you can pick the colour of your app icon and notifications) that is separate from Instagram.

Turn on notifications a chat so you never miss
Receive personalised notifications when you get a message
personalise your app by choosing a theme
Personalise your app by choosing a theme

Download the app on IOS or Android today.

Have you tried Threads yet?

Read our previous blog to discover all the prospective ideas about this app before the all important launch.


Catherine Eaton

Catherine is responsible for planning, creating and scheduling social media content for our clients.