Meta Instagram-owned photo-sharing platform is reported to be shutting down its standalone messaging app, Threads, by the end of this year.
According to TechCrunch, Instagram plans to alert existing Thread users with an in-app notification beginning on November 23, which will direct them to return to Instagram to message their friends going forward.
Topics was introduced in 2019 as an Instagram companion app shortly after the company shut down its other standalone messaging app, Direct.
Rather than focusing solely on the inbox experience, Topics is a “camera first” mobile messaging designed to be used to post status updates and stay in touch with those you’ve identified as your “close friends” on Instagram.
However, the app has not gained mainstream approval. But instead of repeating the experience, the topics didn’t get much attention until it was revamped last year, which made it possible to send messages to everyone, not just “close friends”, as DirectX once offered.
Although the app provided a way to update your status, or even automatically update it, based on your location, it was difficult to navigate between the different sections of the app until the 2020 redesign, according to the report.
With the update, Instagram tried to make it easier to switch between friends’ stories, the camera interface, and other parts of the experience. It still doesn’t work as a quick way to read your messages, though, and it hasn’t gained much traction as a result of the changes.
The app ranked #214 in the Photos & Videos category on the US App Store, in reference to its continued failure to connect with a wider audience.
The shutdown comes at a time when Meta (formerly Facebook) is revamping its messaging platforms.