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Facebook is reportedly building a new messaging app for Instagram in its latest assault on Snapchat

Mary Hanbury , Business Insider US
 Aug 28, 2019, 01:07 PM

  • Facebook is testing a new messaging app for Instagram, according to The Verge.
  • "Threads" is designed to promote constant, intimate sharing between users and their closest friends.
  • It functions in a similar way to Snapchat - users can send text, photo, or video messages to friends and share live updates on their location.
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Months after Facebook shut down its standalone Instagram messaging app, it's back with another.

According to a new report from The Verge, Facebook is currently testing a new app that's designed "to promote constant, intimate sharing between users and their closest friends."

Known as "Threads," the standalone app works in collaboration with Instagram - users can send text, photo, or video messages to friends, as well as live updates on their location, speed, and battery life.

Sources familiar with the matter told The Verge that these real-time services are not yet available but it will say something along the lines of "on the move."

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by Business Insider.

Threads could enable Facebook to poach more customers from rival Snapchat, which offers a similar messaging service. It could also help to encourage users to spend more time on Instagram without moving elsewhere to message friends. In the past, data showed that Snapchat did a better job of this.

The news of the Threads app comes just months after Facebook alerted users that another of its standalone messaging apps, Direct, is coming to a grinding halt just two years after it launched. The app, called Direct, was rolled out in 2017 in Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay but it never really took off.

It worked in a similar way to Snapchat - users could easily share photos and videos of themselves or write messages. Once installed, the user's Instagram direct inbox would disappear and any messages could only be accessed via Direct.

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