As Meta consolidates its messaging platforms, Instagram will shut down Threads

Threads, Instagram's standalone messaging service, will be phased out by the end of 2021, according to Meta. Starting November 23rd, the app will display a notice urging users to return to Instagram.

Threads was a similar concept to Facebook Messenger in that it allowed users to send and receive Instagram DMs outside of the main app in a dedicated messaging interface. It had a number of odd features, such as automatic statuses that the app could set for you based on your phone's activity. By the time Threads closes, all of those tools will be available in Instagram itself, the company said in a statement to TechCrunch.

Meta is also attempting to unify its various messaging platforms. Both Messenger and Instagram now support cross-platform messaging, and Facebook has stated that it plans to add WhatsApp to the mix as well. Threads, an Instagram-only app, may become less useful as the lines between Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp blur.

But it's also true that not many people were using Threads in the first place. Last year, the app had just over 200,000 users, which is a tiny fraction of Instagram's billion-plus users. Last year, Meta tried a number of things to save it, including completely redesigning the app and expanding its use cases from just close friends to all users, but it appears that they weren't enough.