Instagram to shut down Threads while Meta consolidates its messaging platforms

Instagram to shut down Threads while Meta consolidates its messaging platforms
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Instagram to shut down Threads while Meta consolidates its messaging platforms

Highlights

Instagram's independent messaging service Threads will cease to exist at the end of 2021. Some features are moving to Instagram.

Instagram's independent messaging service Threads will cease to exist at the end of 2021, Meta has confirmed to TechCrunch. However, the application will display a notice asking users to return to Instagram as of November 23.

Threads were similar to Facebook Messenger: it allowed users to send and receive Instagram direct messages in a dedicated messaging interface outside of the main application. In addition, it had a collection of wacky features, including automatic states that the app could set based on what your phone was doing. All of those tools will be available on Instagram when Threads closes, the company said in a statement to TechCrunch.

Meta is also in the process of consolidating its many messaging platforms. Messenger and Instagram now support cross-platform messaging, and the company has said that it intends to incorporate WhatsApp as well. As a result, threads, an app connected solely to Instagram, may make less sense the more the lines between Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp blur.

But it's also the case that not many people were using Threads, to begin with. The app had just over 200,000 users last year, which is a small percentage of Instagram's more than 1 billion user base. Meta tried several things last year - it completely redesigned the app and expanded its use cases from just the close friend's list to all users, but it seems like they weren't enough to save it.

When contacted for comment, Instagram spokesperson Christine Pai provided the following statement to The Verge: "We know that people care about connecting with their close friends, and we've seen this particularly over the past few years with the growth of messaging on Instagram." Pai added, "We're now focusing our efforts on enhancing how you connect with close friends on Instagram and deprecating the Threads app."


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