Facebook is developing an app called Threads that is meant to encourage "constant, intimate sharing between users and their closest friends".
As reported by The Verge, the app will integrate with Instagram's close friends feature and is being tested internally at Facebook. Information that can be shared includes location, battery life, as well as text, photos and videos via Instagram's tools.
In May 2019, Instagram ceased work on messaging app Direct which had been in development since 2017. It would have seen Instagram provide a closer reflection of competitor Snapchat, which offers users stickers to share battery life, location and movement speed.
Threads is to use similiar messaging systems that are currently present in Instagram, allowing users to message friends in a central feed, with a green dot showing who is online, similiar to Facebook's Messenger. If a friend has uploaded a story, it can be viewed inside Threads.
The app will utilise in-built camers, for users to capture photos and videos and to share with friends.
Threads does not have a confirmed launch date, though in March 2019 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he believed the future for the company involved private messaging.
Although the app will know user data on locations, it will state it in the app as "on the move".
The news follows the reports of an investigated by the Federal Trade Commision into Facebook regarding how the business could potentially be monopolising the social media industry.
"If they’re maintaining separate business structures and infrastructure, it’s much easier to have a divestiture in that circumstance than in where they’re completely enmeshed and all the eggs are scrambled," said Federal Trade Commision chairman Joseph Simmons.
The FTC previously cleared both the WhatsApp and Instagram acquisitions by Facebook, and Simmons acknowledged the complexity for the court to reverse a merger it had once agreed on.
“It’s not easy,” he said. “On the other hand, you might have a situation where you have additional evidence that the company was engaged in a programme to basically snuff out its competitors through a process of acquisition.”