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Introducing Threads (instagram-press.com)
86 points by runesoerensen 13 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 74 comments

Remember "Poke" or "Slingshot"? I wonder how this will be different this time around. There's already an app on the Apple Store called "Threads", so I'm sure having the same name as an established app will not help any.




Remember bolt?

I am not a fan of Facebook, in fact quite the contrary. But you do have to give them one credit, they understand Social very well. HN audience is not something FB targets. The world outside HN is quite different and loves FB, Instagram etc.

I actually don't think that's true at all. Facebook has been caught sleeping again and again with the latest social trends. This new trend of private, group communication seems to be something that's completely caught them off guard and now they're trying to catch up.

> This new trend of private, group communication seems to be something that's completely caught them off guard and now they're trying to catch up.

I'd bet that there's more of that happening on WhatsApp than any other app in the world, possibly by an order of magnitude.

Absolutely. And acquiring WhatsApp is another example of them being on the back foot and having to catch up.

At a certain size, companies innovate through thoughtful acquisitions.

You can't separate the company WhatsApp from the company Facebook because they are the same company FB.

That's a fair point. But Facebook has managed to grow its ARPU to insanely high levels that far outstrip pretty much every other social media outlet.

There has to be some sort of magic there. Maybe someone with more experience in the space can offer more insight here. But it just astounds me that Facebook has managed to generate at least an order of magnitude higher ARPU than Twitter, Snap, Reddit, etc. They're making as much per user as Netflix does from actual paying subscribers.

"What do you mean we can't read or data-mine their conversations? That's impossible."

They had the "moments" app, which wasn't successful as expected. They had everything needed to make it work, the user base, engineering resources, but they still failed.

YC loves Facebook far more than most people should and that should really give everyone here a lot of pause.

Maybe because 1) FB represents a level of success aspirants hold in high regard 2) FB is a marketing/monetization platform startups find difficult to ignore

I find it hard to get excited about this.. probably will get cancelled in 6-9 months after languishing a bit.

YC is pushing almost 6 years since their last true successful company. They’re no longer pushing innovation but, smartly, niche markets. That’s distant from the universe of what FB is.

An alternative hypothesis is that it takes that long or longer before you can really see that level of "success".

I love instagram. I will never use this.

Looks like Facebook is after Marco Polo now - https://www.marcopolo.me/

I typically like having less apps on my phone rather than more. This feels like when Facebook spun off Messenger, I just stopped using it on my phone

I did the opposite: Kept Messenger and got rid of the Facebook app. That way, when someone wants to talk to me, I don't get sucked into the void of their newsfeed - so it becomes just one more communication app alongside iMessage, Telegram, Whatsapp and Discord for me.

This is exactly why they spun it off. They've known for a while that many people are walking away from FB, so they're adding apps to retain you as a customer, and all the data collection that entails.

Same here. Messenger spinning off kept me on Facebook. I use Messenger all day long; I like the the UI, especially reactions and replies. I now log into Facebook once or twice a month. It just gives me FOMO. No need for that.

I just wish those services exposed a chat protocol that I could connect to from a single messaging app. I'd straight up pay for access to such a thing.

It's not a protocol, but an app, but bitlbee and even pidgin tend to support a lot of these various chat services with plugins.

It's interesting that Uber decided to merge their apps (Uber + Uber Eats) while FB seems to want to create more.

Personally I don't care about app count, I'm just not a huge fan of when companies spin features off as products unless it makes total sense. I think it does in this case, it looks like a crossover of Messenger and Instagram that reminds me of Snapchat when it was just a sexting app.

Uber and Uber Eats are still separate apps for me (on iOS). If I pick Eats from the main Uber app, it jumps to the other app.

Seems they announced a few days ago, but it's not live yet.

A suggestion: you can use mbasic.facebook.com from your mobile browser to communicate on Facebook. No apps required.

> This feels like when Facebook spun off Messenger, I just stopped using it on my phone

From a separate point of view: I was super happy when Messenger was spun off so I could delete Facebook from my phone.

I get the marketing angle . This is directed to the social media addicted and it launches the camera directly , so the app icon is basically a shortcut key.

I m surprised they didnt just launch a phone for it.

Some people may not see the use case, but the popularity of SNAP has shown that there is a user base for this product. What's interesting to me is Facebook's decision to completely copy the use case in an attempt to capture the market. They've tried to do so with Instagram Stories & DMs, as referenced to by the post, but I'm curious about the rationale to make it a standalone app, which would hurt adoption.

I suppose the idea is the entry point - Instagram's entry point is viewing content, not creating content (the feed is the first thing that shows up when opening the app). Threads is the same as SNAP in that the first entrypoint is to create content: it opens the camera.

It'll be interesting to see if this can succeed in finally pushing SNAP out, as one benefit for users is leveraging the existing social graph from Instagram, whereas you must add people for SNAP.

I wonder if this is part of the plan to merge messaging on Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. Pull out the final messaging platform that doesn't have its own app and then begin merging Threads, Messenger, and WhatsApp into one.


I'm actually happy to install this so I can delete Instagram. I keep Instagram around because some friends only message me through that.

That article says the apps will remain separate, only the backend will be the same. You don't need to separate Threads out of IG to use that unified backend.

What are the demographics of the targeted or expected audience?

n=1 this doesn't appeal to me; why would I want to fragment my communications further? But I could believe that teenagers would use this more; I've read that many young people today aren't on a single monolithic platform like FB or Instagram but instead have different social apps for different friend groups or parts of their lives.

This is consistent with 2 major trends in social networking projects:

1. The closer the relationship the faster the communication

2. Different levels of privacy should be in different UI spaces entirely (fiddling with privacy settings on posts is not how we think about privacy in real life)

I think both are great ideas that extend natural human relationships and communication rather than forcing people into unnatural modes.

This seems very directly targeted at teens, competitive with the constant-social use of "find my friends". My impression is that many youngsters keep shockingly close tabs on each other, which this seems built to enable.

So, what's the difference between WhatsApp, FB Messenger and Threads? They all allow to message a selected list of contact, send videos and have a status, all owned by FB. What's the strategy here?

Different audiences.

Whatsapp is for non-US general population. FB Messenger is for US general population. Threads is for US and non-US Gen-Z and below.

I don't understand the positioning. So it's instagram but only with friends and with status as an option? Why couldn't they change instagram to filter on friends or something?

It’s another direct shot at Snapchat.

They’ve already tried the “close friends” feature with Instagram stories. Anecdotally, hardly anyone is using it.

A good chunk of my friends use stories daily. It's the new facebook for 30+ year olds :)

I think he means the "Close friends" feature of stories, not stories in general. These are the stories with the green circle around them.

Yes thank you that’s what I’m talking about.

Hope it won't become Deads

2 moderators: can we have a better title? I was expecting to see something about concurrency and multi-threading.

SNAP stock fell 5% on the announcement, it recovered by about 2% but still a big drop.

This is the app to compete with TickTock from the leaked FB all hands meeting

Finally! I really missed yet another chat app which can even more divide all my communications with my friends! So good! The world needed this very much!

The issue is not so much the diversity of clients, but fragmentation caused by proprietary protocols they use.

I still miss the few years where Trillian talked all instant messaging protocols. Jabber had a brief shot at unifying them, but no dotcom wants to be a commodity.

>Threads is a standalone app designed with privacy, speed and your close connections in mind.

I dont believe you FB. Prove it! This all clear text or there encryption?

It was designed "in mind", meaning, they thought about it but didn't actually do anything about it.


I party with safe alcohol consumption in mind

FB has always been the worst defenders for your privacy.

> We know people want to stay connected with their close friends online.

How on earth did they 'know' this? Perhaps using machine-learning on the surveys and activities that they have collected on Facebook / Instagram? No doubt about it as they already admitted this at the top of their banner on Facebook:

'To help personalise content, tailor and measure ads and provide a safer experience, we use cookies. By clicking on or navigating the site, you agree to allow us to collect information on and off Facebook through cookies. Learn more, including about available controls: Cookie Policy.'

Who knows if this banner applies to Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp without explicitly placing the notice. Their stance on privacy for Threads is no different.

FB saying they designed it with privacy in mind is like McDonalds saying they design their food with your health in mind.

Remember they stored Instagram's passwords in plain-text at one point (I remember in High School even I salt and hashed passwords for users)

Their privacy means they get to farm your data first.

Why in the world would programmers name a feature after a programming primitive?

I'm gonna make a new chat app called deadlock.

Pretty unlikely that Facebook is allowing programmers to name this type of thing.

Why in the world would Microsoft name an operating system after a UI primitive? Doomed to failure, I tell you.

The UI primitive was named after the operating system.

The word 'thread' has existed since long before computers.

That's not the point. The point is programmers created this feature and decided name it the same thing they used to create it.

A seamstress isn't going to call a piece of cloth a thread, when cloth is made up of threads.

A product marketing team named the app, not the programmers.

Do you think Facebook is just a company made up of programmers?

No obviously not, but I would think they have influence on the name.

Why do you think the programmers decided on what the name is?

I'd be willing to bet big money that the programmers did not name this app. In a company the size of Facebook, that'd be a miracle.

Said they, on the "Y-Combinator" Hacker News comments.

Y combinator is more a math thing. Not a programming primitive. Highly doubt there's any Y combinators in the code being used to build this site.

Follow the sensible approach instead, and name your messaging app with a catchy generic name, like "Messenger" or "iMessages".

Ugh. RIGHT? No product should be named after a Programming terminology. Who does that right? :|


No PROGRAM should be named after a Programming terminology.

You need to remove the "/s" from your comment for it to make sense.

New calendar app: Priority Inversion

So Jira?

I live without any social network. I use only Skype/phone for voice calls and rarely some messaging with Whatsap for messaging and that is all my online communication (except work email). I am pretty happy.

Area Man Constantly Mentioning He Doesn't Own A Television


So you use Skype, phone, WhatsApp, and email. That’s not really the definition of “without any social network”.

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