#Facebook secretly building new WhatsApp rival that lets you text pals and track their locations

FACEBOOK is creating a new WhatsApp and Snapchat rival messaging platform called Threads.

The tech giant is currently working on the app, which will be a companion to Instagram and enable users to share location data and statuses with friends.

However, Threads will reportedly invite users to automatically share information like their location, battery life and speed with friends as well as the standard text, photo and video messages.

Sharing location data, battery life and speed are all features commonly associated with Snapchat.

The new app is reportedly being tested internally at Facebook.

Some of the features on the new app have been revealed by illustrated screenshots obtained by the media.

The illustration shows a simple list of automatic status updates that say things like “Free”, “Busy” or “Bored” but statuses could also be updated manually.

WhatsApp, which is also owned by Facebook, already has a similar simple status feature.

Threads is expected to be more like current Instagram messaging just with all these new features.

It is unclear when Threads will be publicly launched.

We reached out to Instagram for comment but they declined.


Earlier this year, it was revealed that Facebook would be merging the messaging part of its Messenger app with both WhatsApp and Instagram.


The project is believed to involve “thousands of Facebook employees” working to merge the apps together.


Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, will still exist as standalone apps however – but their messaging services will become one unified system.


WhatsApp – a quick history

Here’s what you need to know…

  • WhatsApp was created in 2009 by computer programmers Brian Acton and Jan Koum – former employees of Yahoo
  • It’s one of the most popular messaging services in the world
  • Koum came up with the name WhatsApp because it sounded like “what’s up”
  • After a number of tweaks the app was released with a messaging component in June 2009, with 250,000 active users
  • It was originally free but switched to a paid service to avoid growing too fast. Then in 2016, it became free again for all users
  • Facebook bought WhatsApp Inc in February 2014 for $19.3billion (£14.64bn)
  • The app is particularly popular because all messages are encrypted during transit, shutting out snoopers
  • As of January 2018, WhatsApp has over 1.5billion users globally
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