After all, the topic might get a private message — but probably via Instagram

Threads’ “will they” in direct messages have been going on for a while. Last we heard, Instagram (and Threads) head Adam Mosseri said Threads Not planning to create a DM. That still seems to be true—but that’s not the whole story.

Mosseri said on Tuesday, topic post reply platform game Casey Newton said he was reluctant to build DM into Threads because he thought Instagram’s messaging service might be a good fit for Threads. After all, Threads is built on top of the Instagram app and is already connected to Instagram in a way. Variety of ways. Mosseri always hinted at for months He believes Instagram DMs can become the primary place for private chats.

“I wish we could make Instagram inboxes work in Threads,” Mosseri wrote, “and there’s still a lot of work to do.” You can imagine what that would look like: You could send messages to anyone on either platform Messages (which makes sense since your Threads and Instagram accounts are so connected anyway), and your inbox will be synced between the two apps. Instagram and Threads already share a lot of infrastructure, so messaging won’t be that can already Share topic posts via Instagram DM It’s a confusing sentence without leaving the Threads app, but it’s also a great example of how cross-app messaging and sharing works.

Mosseri did point out some tricky ramifications of the decision, though; first among them is notification. If you have an inbox in both apps, which app should ping you when you receive a new message? Of course not two applications running at the same time. (You know how annoying it can be to have multiple email apps running at the same time.) A cross-platform messaging system also requires a set of controls and filters across apps, which can get complicated quickly.

The bigger question is what might borrowing Instagram’s inbox mean for Threads’ plans? Support event release And integrates with apps like Mastodon. A version of Threads with syndicated posts and centralized messaging seems to go against the spirit of the ActivityPub project and probably doesn’t make sense. Meta is also preparing for a future in which all of its messaging apps Must be interoperableand CEO Mark Zuckerberg explain “People should be able to connect with their friends using any of our apps.” This push could change the way WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram and Threads interact in more fundamental ways.

Mosseri said if Threads can’t figure out how to make the Instagram-based strategy work, the team has two options. It can mirror the inbox and let users solve notification problems themselves, or it can build “an entirely separate Thread.” Inbox, and deal with the fact that you’ll be using the same handle with each friend in two different apps, thus having two redundant message threads. Neither option seemed attractive, Mosseri said, but he seemed more opposed to building a completely new messaging system that would be introduced into threads.

At this point, we can almost certainly say that some kind of private messaging will appear in Threads at some point. This is a feature that users want, it could be an obviously useful addition to the public release, and it will happen. What will happen when it does and what it will look like remains difficult to say. It sounds like Mosseri doesn’t know either. But it sounds like everyone’s best guess is that it will look like Instagram.

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