Make room for one more social media app on your phone, after Instagram introduced the new ‘threads’ product to promote quick sharing of text, photos and videos among close friends.
Rumours of the planned change, which started earlier this year, have now been proven to be more or less correct, with the social media platform officially making the announcement overnight.
Now available, ‘Threads for Instagram’ exist as a standalone app and promotes camera-first messaging.
Instagram says the new app is about staying more connected with your closest friends throughout the day and has been designed with privacy and speed at the core.
“You can use Threads to message those people on your Instagram close friends list and you’ll have a dedicated inbox and notifications just for them,” said Instagram in a statement.
“If you don’t have a list set up yet, you can make one directly from Threads when you download the app.”
It comes as an extension to the ‘close friends’ feature, which was launched last year.
Research by Facebook, which owns Instagram, has shown that time spent on social media interacting with close friends can actually improve the mental well-being of users.
Also announced by Instagram overnight is the new anti-bullying feature ‘restrict’ feature, aimed at empowering users to protect themselves from a potential bully.
By swiping left on a comment deemed offensive, restrict can be enabled.
Once restrict is enabled, comments on a post from a person that has been restricted will only be visible to that person.
Any comments by the restricted user must first be approved before they are made public.
It is a way of moderating the behaviour of a problematic user without blocking them, as bullying continues to be an issue on the platform, particularly among teens.
Instagram has been testing restrict for some months now, but the feature is now available globally.