Peer-to-peer media sharing apps have gone through all of their growth phases — from Snapchat opening people up to private pics to competition with Instagram through to the commoditization of the dreaded Stories format — that we figure it's about time things came full circle. And from none other than Facebook comes Threads, a private sharing app that enables you to quickly send snaps to your Close Friends on Instagram.
You may be reminded of Instagram's old attempt at a direct Snapchat competitor called Direct that shut down back in May. But the company may have felt that it was missing an opportunity to focus on narrowcasting private media sharing — something said competitor might not be able to afford with losses and expanding advertorial integrations.
Inside Threads, you'll be prompted to select Close Friends and Groups with whom you communicate with often. Afterwards, you'll be able to select them as a shortcut right from the viewfinder so that whatever you snap (and, perhaps, edit afterwards) will be sent to just that friend or group immediately. You're able to reply to conversations you're already having in an Instagram direct message right from the home screen of Threads.
One of Threads's other banner features is one called Status — it's basically Facebook's "Feeling/Activity" add-on which lets people know you're "studying," "at work," "on the move," or just doing something when you post status updates over on that social media network.
By default, automatic updates are turned on so that your Status changes with your recorded location and over time. You can see your current Auto Status as a persistent notification and you'll be able to peep other people's live Status updates in the app. And if you don't want to share your location data with Facebook so freely, you can toggle the feature off from the Status panel.
If you don't have Instagram's dark theme yet, you can also use one of five color schemes on Threads.
Threads is available right now from the Play Store and at APK Mirror.
Alternate title: Instagram saves the day with Android's first messaging app, Threads