Instagram has launched a new real-time connection messaging app, Threads, for close friends on iOS & Android. With it you can send text, photo & video updates to a group of friends selected from your “Close Friends” list within the Instagram app.

Conversations held in Threads will also appear in your DM’s on Instagram, providing a smooth integration to the app.

via Instagram:

“Over the last few years, we’ve introduced several new ways to share visually on Instagram & connect with people you care about – from sharing everyday moments on Stories to visual messages on Direct. But for your smaller circle of friends, we saw the need to stay more connected throughout the day, so you can communicate what you’re doing & how you’re feeling through photos & videos. That’s why we built Threads, a new way to message with close friends in a dedicated, private space.”

Naturally with this new Facebook-owned app, privacy concerns have arisen. However, Threads provides users with customizable privacy options as it automatically tracks & reports your everyday movements, in order to keep people updated on your activity.

More from Instagram:

“If you enable Auto Status, Threads will request your location, movement, battery level & network connection from your phone in order to determine what context to share. For example, Auto Status might use your precise location to show your friends that you’re “☕ At a cafe.” Or Auto Status might detect that you’re biking & set your status to “???? On the Move.” Before this is enabled, you’ll be told what information Auto Status is requesting & will be asked to specifically agree. Auto Status will not share your precise location with your friends, & when Threads sends location information to our server to look up locations, it’s not stored there – this information is only stored on your device for a limited time. It is also deleted if you remove Threads.”

Sure, why not? Many users are already sharing the same info with Snapchat’s Snap Map, right? Which once again seems to be where Facebook is aiming with this app.

What do you think? Is Facebook looking to steal yet another feature from Snapchat? Will you be trying out Threads?