Does Facebook Want To Limit Instagram To Your 'close Friends'? Maybe

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Facebook is reportedly developing Instagram Threads to "promote constant, intimate sharing between users and their closest friends." More details inside

Written By Tanmay Patange | Mumbai | Updated On:

We understand it is challenging to imagine that Facebook would ever want to limit your Instagram experience to your close friends. But on the off chance, what if it does? And what if Facebook is looking at it more like a privacy measure than anything else? We tell you why we think so: Facebook is secretly working on a new, standalone messaging app for Instagram called Threads. Interestingly enough, the news broke amid Facebook's pivot to a more private and secure social network. Previously, Mark Zuckerberg outlined his privacy vision for the company to offer an encrypted and more unified communication experience across Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.

While we know that primarily, Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking platform. That is perhaps why Facebook is looking at more ways to progress with Instagram in the future. Last year, Facebook did the same thing with IGTV, Instagram's video-only platform. (Though users can post videos on the main Instagram app as well - making it a lot more confusing). So, it is somewhat convenient to imagine Instagram offering three different apps in the future: One for videos, one for photos (and videos, again) and one for messaging. Nonetheless, more Facebook apps could be around the corner.

Instagram 'Threads'

Facebook is reportedly developing Instagram Threads to "promote constant, intimate sharing between users and their closest friends." Facebook may have designed Instagram in such a way that it is expected to act more like a companion app to Instagram. But it remains to be seen what happens to Instagram's in-app messaging feature in the days to come. In May, Instagram stopped working on its standalone messaging app Direct. Meanwhile, Threads is expected to allow users to share their location, battery status and more with their friends.

(Picture: The Verge)

So why now?

In his privacy vision earlier, Zuckerberg proposed a shift to private and encrypted communication services where "messages and content won't stick around forever." Here is what Zuckerberg had to say:

"I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won't stick around forever. This is the future I hope we will help bring about."

Well, this whole concept of ephemeral messaging is not new. Snapchat already has it. If you are a Snapchat user, you know already how it works. If that's indeed the case, Facebook might want to limit Instagram Threads to your 'close friends.'

Where does Instagram come into the picture?

According to numerous reports and studies, many users have had stopped using Facebook rather spend more time on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. Instagram allows users to share ephemeral 'stories' with their 'close friends.' This way, Instagram knows about who your close friends are. It can also push you for more quality interaction with people in your close circle, courtesy of Threads.

"Instagram is about capturing moments. People don’t open Instagram to find out your company’s business hours or to see if their friends have been to your store. They use Instagram to engage. That’s what makes it so effective for building your brand and gaining popularity," Sprout Social, a social media management firm stated before.

Why separate apps?

Facebook is known for launching separate apps. Facebook did something with Messenger a few years ago. After Facebook spun Messenger out of its main app, users were forced to use Messenger to be able to continue chatting with their friends. There is a possibility Facebook may be doing the same thing with Instagram Threads.

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