What you need to know
- Facebook launched Instagram Threads as a messaging app for Close Friends only.
- An update today has turned the app into a general-purpose messaging app.
- Facebook last week announced a merger between Instagram Direct and Facebook Messenger, it's not clear how this change fits with that move.
Facebook today just made a change to its Instagram Threads app, turning it from a place where you communicated with just your Close Friends, to an app where you could direct message just about anyone. In effect, Instagram Threads just became Instagram Messenger.
By way of recap, Facebook launched Threads as an app that would be the opposite of that. It had tested Instagram Direct as a standalone app and killed the project due it being a confusing experience for beta testers who disliked the separate DM app. It then released Threads as an app that was focused on photos and sharing your day to day life with your friends, kind of like Snapchat. The company hasn't said much about it since then, but it's been trucking along with updates in the meantime.
With this update, Instagram Threads is almost a great messaging app on its own, it's just not clear where it stands in the grand scheme of things. It's true that it fixes a major user pet peeve just going off App and Play Store reviews. It's also true that Facebook last week announced that it would be bringing the Messenger experience to Instagram, turning the standalone Facebook Messenger into an Instagram Direct app as well. It seemed reasonable to assume that it would be shutting down Threads, seeing as Messenger now offered a duplicate function.
Facebook could still shut down the newer messaging app in the next few months, in the meantime, you now have three ways to message all your Instagram followers. Don't let anyone tell you Facebook doesn't offer consumers choice.
There are so many Alexa speakers so let us help you decide which to buy
Whether you buy an Amazon-branded Echo smart speaker or something from a third party like Sonos or Eufy, there are a lot of great Alexa speakers to choose from. That's why we're here to break down your options for you to help you make the best purchase decision.
The OnePlus 9 won't be able to escape OnePlus' biggest problem — itself
One flagship in the spring and one budget phone in the fall is a common-sense approach that would work better for OnePlus and for us — the customers. There are good reasons to make the change.
These are the best Android phones you can buy right now
There are so many great Android phones to buy, so it can be tough to know which one to buy. These are the best of the best at each price point.
Get the most out of these smart devices and services with Google Assistant
The Google Assistant is the most useful smart voice assistant for getting your questions answered and keeping track of your digital life, but it's also great at helping you control your smart home devices and services.