From Close Friends Messaging to Public Engagement – A Journey of Evolution and Integration of Threads.

Yashwanth Ram
Yashwanth Ram


In this article, we will explore the evolution of a messaging app called “Threads” from Instagram. Initially launched in 2019, Threads was primarily focused on close friends’ communication. However, since then, it has undergone significant changes and updates. We will delve into the features and functionalities of Threads as it existed in 2019, and then transition to its current state. Let’s dive in!

Previously in 2019: Threads as a Close Friends Messaging App

Threads from Instagram was initially developed as a messaging app closely tied to a user’s close friends. It provided a dedicated platform to connect and share updates exclusively with a selected group of people. Over time, Instagram expanded the app’s functionality to allow users to message anyone and show their status to all their followers. Later discontinued in 2021 December.

Message Only Your Close Friends

After a year of introducing the close friends feature on Instagram, Threads was launched to facilitate messaging exclusively with the people on a user’s close friends list. It provided a dedicated inbox and notifications solely for these individuals. Threads differentiated itself from the main Instagram app by eliminating feeds and reels, opening directly to the camera, and allowing users to send photos and videos directly to their close ones.

The Transition from Threads to Instagram’s Main App

As Instagram integrated some of Threads’ features into its main app, the “Auto Status” feature of Threads became the “Notes” feature on Instagram. Additionally, chat themes, a visually pleasing aspect of Threads, were also incorporated into Instagram’s direct message themes. However, Instagram’s themes primarily revolve around content and entertainment, with contributions from popular brands, artists, and games.

The Current State of Threads

Today, Threads has evolved into a new app developed by the Instagram team. While still connected to Instagram, it serves as a platform for sharing text updates and engaging in public conversations. With Threads, users can follow and connect with friends and creators who share their interests, including those they already follow on Instagram and beyond.

Your Personalized Feed on Threads

Threads curates a personalized feed for its users, comprising threads posted by people they follow and recommendations from new creators they haven’t discovered yet. Users can create threads up to 500 characters long, incorporating links, photos, and videos of up to 5 minutes in length. Sharing Threads posts to their Instagram story is also made effortless.

Seamless Integration with Instagram

Getting started with Threads is simple and convenient. Users can log in using their existing Instagram account, with their username and verification seamlessly carrying over. Additionally, they have the option to customize their Threads profile specifically according to their preferences.

Enhanced Control and Privacy Features

Threads empowers users with enhanced control over their interactions and privacy. Users can manage who can mention or reply to them within Threads, and they have the ability to filter out replies containing specific words. Blocking, restricting, or reporting profiles can be easily done by accessing the three-dot menu. It is worth noting that blocking an account on Instagram automatically extends the block to Threads as well.

Future Compatibility and Reach

Instagram is actively working on making Threads compatible with the ActivityPub protocol, enabling interoperability with other apps and services like Mastodon. This future development will allow Threads users to expand their reach effortlessly, reaching out to a wider audience without any added effort.

In conclusion, Threads has transitioned significantly since its inception in 2019. What was once a messaging app focused on close friends has evolved into a platform that encourages public conversations and engagement. Threads’ integration with Instagram ensures a seamless experience for users, while its privacy features and content curation contribute to a personalized and secure environment. With ongoing efforts to enhance compatibility and reach, Threads continues to grow and evolve, offering users new possibilities and opportunities for connection.

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