It looks like Instagram’s standalone messaging app called Threads will soon be discontinued 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 standalone alternative to direct messaging in the Instagram app. In short, Threads was to Instagram what Facebook Messenger is to Facebook.
However, the standalone app never really caught on, in part because the initial release had a clunky interface and also limited people to exchanging private messages only with their “close friends,” on Instagram.
A major update for 2020 attempted to address some of these issues, but it was probably too little, too late. While the app offered a few unique features, most people preferred to just continue their conversations in the actual Instagram app.
So it’s probably no big surprise that Meta is quitting Threads. According to TechCrunch, the app will no longer be supported by the end of December. Those still using Threads will see in-app notifications advising them to go back to Instagram on November 23.
TechCrunch notes that Threads has seen approximately 13.7 million installs worldwide from both the App Store and Google Play, but it’s unclear how many of those who downloaded Threads have actually continued to use it. The reviews weren’t friendly 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, meaning Instagram fans had a much better alternative. There was never really a clear reason for Threads’ survival after that, especially as the company kept rolling more and more features to Instagram, leaving Threads behind.
Meta says that once Threads support ends, users will be automatically logged out and the app will no longer be available on the App Store or Google Play. By then, all Threads features will be available in Instagram’s main app.