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Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) is developing a new chat app for Instagram called Threads. The app which is designed to work within Instagram is meant to enhance intimate sharing between users and their friends.  This has been seen as the social media giant’s latest assault on Snapchat.

Instagram developing a messaging app

Threads allow users to automatically share their speed, location as well as battery life in real-time besides photo and video chats using Instagram’s creative tools. Instagram users will be able to share with their close friends on their Instagram list through the app. Threads is currently undergoing internal testing at Facebook.

Instagram stopped working on a standalone chat app called Direct in May. It has been developing the app since 2017. Executives indicated that beta testers at the time were frustrated about having to change between apps every time they wanted to send a message.

Despite terminating the development of Direct, the company remained interested in developing a new messaging app. The developers who were working on the app were moved to Facebook Messenger at the beginning of the year as part of consolidation between Facebook and Instagram.

Threads to rival Snapchat

Snapchat has managed to be popular among users because of its messaging capability. There are reports that on average users spend more time inside Snapchat than Instagram. For Facebook, Threads is seen as the game-changer, which will rival Snapchat. The app has an option of opting for automatic sharing. It will frequently update your status showing your friends your real-time speed, location, among other things. Sources familiar with the development indicate that instead of the app displaying your real-time location, it will be indicating that a friend is on the move.

The primary objective of Threads is messaging, and it is similar to the current messaging product on Instagram. It is not clear when the company plans to launch Threads. But most likely, Facebook will have to finish the development of the app before shipping to the general public same way it did with Direct.

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