Instagram launches Threads, a Close Friends chat app with auto-status

Sick of randos in your inbox? Only people in your Instagram Close Friends list show up in Threads so you can trust its notifications are important.

By building Threads as a separate app, Instagram has little to lose if it flops and could learn about what features to pull back into its main app.

Now Instagram is doubling-down on Close Friends which launched last November at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin to let you secretly set a special group of best pals who get to see special Stories you set as visible to only them.

Instagram already tried building its own standalone Direct messaging app, but shut it down after low usage since it didn't offer anything beyond what you already got in the main app.

The only entries in your inbox are Close Friends, which you can edit in the app with the list syncing with your list on Instagram.

Instagram has the last three, so it's a matter of either making Threads popular or rolling this feature into the main app.

At the same time, Threads could boost Close Friends usage, leading people to share more intimate and silly stuff on Stories which do help Instagram earn money thanks to the ads in between.

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