Instagram’s Snapchat competitor, Threads launches today on iOS and Android

Facebook has now launched a new direct messaging up to replace Direct, its previous experiment. The app, called Threads is aimed at connecting users to those in their close friends list faster. It is also very camera focused, and speedy — kind of like like Snapchat but with adopted Facebook Messenger’s messaging UI.

In their announcement post today, Facebook said:

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.

Threads is a standalone app designed with privacy, speed, and your close connections in mind. You can share photos, videos, messages, Stories, and more with your Instagram close friends list. You are in control of who can reach you on Threads, and you can customize the experience around the people who matter most.

The app is available immediately on Android and iOS. And yes, there is a dark theme included alongside a sepia theme, a grey theme and the default light theme. With Threads, Facebook is very cognizant of its privacy issues and has created a privacy-focused page on Threads just to head off concerns. Personally, with iOS and Android now providing features that cage in wayward apps, Facebook’s potential damage with regards to privacy is now severely limited. If the firm does keep to the pledges to keep Threads private and not use its data to run ads, that’s even better.

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