Instagram launches photo messaging service

Instagram launches photo messaging service
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Instagram on Thursday released Threads, a new stand-alone photo messaging app that builds on Instagram's "close friends" feature, BuzzFeed News reports.

The app reportedly functions in much the same way Snapchat does, without all of the fancy filters. 

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When first opened, Threads is populated with everyone in the user's "close friends" list on Instagram, according to BuzzFeed. From there, the user can send pictures individually or to a larger group. If the recipient of the message isn't on the sender's "close friends" list or doesn't have Threads downloaded, then the message will be sent to the recipient's Instagram direct messages. 

One reported feature that deviates from Instagram and is unique to Threads is that the user can set a status with an emoji to describe their current mood or activity. If a user doesn't want to constantly update what they're doing, then Threads' auto status can be turned on.

Using location information gathered by the user's phone, Threads can also show if you're on the road, at the gym or at a restaurant. 

To protect user privacy, the feature reportedly won't show an actual address of a user's location, and Instagram has already said the location information won't be used for ad-targeting.

Additionally, according to BuzzFeed, the location will only be stored locally on a user's phone and deleted after a certain amount of time.