Meta announced plans to pull the plug on Threads, a standalone direct messaging app for Instagram users launched in 2019, as the parent company seeks to enhance communication options in the photo sharing service.

A Meta representative told Mobile World Live distinctive features on Threads are being introduced to the main Instagram app, which experienced a rise in messaging function use in recent years.

The representative explained Meta believes it is easier to group services and features together in the main app, adding the company will also focus on improving interactions with contacts.

TechCrunch reported Threads will cease operating by the end of the year, with alerts about the move set to be sent from 23 November.

Threads was the second attempt by the company to create a standalone messaging app for Instagram, coming after the launch and swift demise of Direct.

Various reports connected the Threads closure with a broader attempt by Meta to boost cross-app messaging functions between its services.