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Instagram Is Creating a New ‘Safe Space’ for Your Close Friends

And it all sounds a bit dystopian.

by Douglas Greenwood
02 September 2019, 8:00am

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.

In the endless battle for social media dominance, our fave platforms are hellbent on knocking out their competition, rendering others obsolete and reigning supreme. This has led many to expand and switch up what they do; Instagram, for example, has come along way since it started as a simple grid of pretty pictures.

You’ve now got stories (a feature inspired by Snapchat), DMs (thanks to Facebook messenger, presumably, since Mark Zuckerberg now owns this platform too) and Close Friends: a space for us to call out people who piss us off and post scandalous photos of ourselves, safe in the knowledge that those watching won’t judge us like the masses on the main.

So what could possibly be left for IG to jump on these days? Enter their latest venture, ‘Threads’: an expanded version of the Close Friends feature that offers users the chance to sacrifice just about every ounce of privacy they have. Announced by The Verge and likely inspired by Snapchat’s ‘Maps’ feature -- a world atlas showing the realtime and exact locations of your friends -- ‘Threads’ will offer people an uninterrupted look at your life. Including where you live.

Not only that, but when you up sticks and get on the tube, or go to work, or head to that late night hook-up’s house on the DL, the app will list you as being ‘On the move’, so everyone knows where you are at all times. Dystopian!

You can do the standard messaging, phone calls and sending photos through it too though, since Mark Zuckerberg (who also owns WhatsApp, btw) sees it as the future of the company. But there’s also the added bonus of being able to send the status of your battery life to friends -- a feature that may well consume more battery life than messaging your mate “I’m on five percent” anyway. Think of this whole thing as a ‘Close Friends’ lab experiment gone a bit insane.

However disturbing you find the prospect, ‘Threads’ will be available on your preferred app store in the very near future.

This article originally appeared on VICE UK.