It looks like Instagram’s stand-alone messaging app, called Threads, will soon be shutting down as part of an ongoing consolidation of messaging apps by Meta (the company formerly known as Facebook that owns Instagram).
Threads arrived in 2019 as a stand-alone alternative to direct messaging in the Instagram app. Basically, Threads was to Instagram what Facebook Messenger is to Facebook.
The stand-alone app never really caught on, however, partly because its initial release had a clunky interface and also limited folks to exchanging private messages only with their “Close Friends,” on Instagram.
A major 2020 update attempted to address some of these problems, but it was likely too little, too late. Although the app did offer a few unique features, most people preferred to just carry on their conversations in the actual Instagram app.
So, it’s probably not a big surprise that Meta is calling it quits on Threads. According to TechCrunch, by the end of December, the app will no longer be supported. Those still using Threads will start seeing in-app notices advising them to go back over to Instagram on November 23.
TechCrunch notes that Threads did see approximately 13.7 million installs globally from both the App Store and Google Play, but it’s unclear how many of those who downloaded Threads actually kept on using it. The ratings haven’t been kind either, with many complaints about the app’s design, missing features, and bugs.
Facebook also made its Messenger and Instagram apps interoperable not long after the release of Threads, which meant Instagram fans had a much better alternative. There was never really a clear reason for the continuing existence of Threads after that, especially as the company continued rolling more and more features into Instagram and leaving Threads behind.
Meta says that once support for Threads ends, users will be logged out automatically and the app will no longer be available on the App Store or Google Play. By that time, all Threads features will be available in the main Instagram app.