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Meta is reportedly building ‘direct messaging' for the bazillionth time

A graphical representation of Threads

Instagram's text-based spinoff Threads is working on a native direct messaging feature, according to reverse engineer and leaker Alessandro Paluzzi, who has spilled details about several Instagram and Threads features in the past.

The leaker shared some alleged screenshots of the feature, suggesting it's currently not more than an internal prototype being developed under Meta's roof. "Thanks for trying this employee-only messaging prototype. Please keep in mind that none of the messages are encrypted or stored securely," reads one of the screenshots.

The social media giant already has a host of social media apps that support native direct messaging, including Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Furthermore, an arrow-shaped button in the top-right corner of the screen in one of the screenshots looks like Instagram's old direct messaging button and the share button on Threads. Instagram's old direct messaging logo was replaced by the Messenger logo in 2020 when Meta (then Facebook) allowed users to message across the two apps.

As of now, there is no word on the release date of the direct messaging feature for Threads or any other detail suggesting how the feature will work. With that said, baking direct messaging functionality into Threads seems like a quick U-turn from the social media giant who didn't want to give users "yet another inbox" and pushed them to use "other apps" for messaging.

Last year, Instagram head Adam Mosseri responded to a user's request to add direct messaging in the text-focused app:

For now our plan is to not build yet another inbox, and instead let people send threads to other apps, including Instagram DMs but also apps we don’t own. It might not make sense long-term, but we thought we’d start simple.

Mosseri didn't rule out the possibility of the feature making it to Threads in the long run. The app meant to rival Elon Musk's X (formerly Twitter) was launched last year with several essential features missing in the initial version. Mosseri was quite vocal on the platform and assured users that many features were "on the list" for a future release, but direct messaging wasn't one of them.

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