Meta-owned photo-sharing platform Instagram is reportedly shutting down its standalone messaging app, Threads, by the end of this year.
According to TechCrunch, Instagram is planning to alert its existing Threads users with an in-app notice beginning on November 23, which will direct them to return to Instagram to message their friends going forward.
Threads were introduced in 2019 as a companion app to Instagram shortly after the company shut down its other standalone messaging app, Direct.
Instead of focusing solely on the inbox experience, Threads was built as a “camera-first” mobile messager designed to be used for posting status updates and staying in touch with those you designated as your “Close Friends” on Instagram.
The app didn’t gain mainstream adoption, however. But instead of iterating on the experience, Threads received little attention until a revamp last year, which made it possible to message everyone, not just “Close Friends”, as Direct had once offered.
Though the app had offered a way to update your Status, or even automatically update it, based on your location, it had been difficult to navigate between the different sections of the app until the 2020 redesign, the report said.
With the update, Instagram attempted to make it easier to switch between friends’ Stories, the Camera interface, and other parts of the experience. It still didn’t function as a quick way to read through your messages, though, and didn’t gain significant traction as a result of the changes.
The app was ranked No. 214 in the Photo and Video category on the US App Store, an indication of its continued failure to catch on with a broader audience.
The closure comes at a time when Meta (formerly, Facebook) is revamping its messaging platforms.