New Meta App Could Be Rival to Twitter, Mastodon

Sources say decentralized text-based app is codenamed P92
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2023 2:28 PM CST
Meta Is Working on a Possible Twitter Rival
Meta has confirmed that it's working on a "standalone decentralized social network for sharing text updates."   (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)

After apparently imitating Twitter's pay for verification plan, Meta is now working on its own Twitter-like service. Facebook's parent company has confirmed a report from MoneyControl that it is in the early stages of creating an app that could be a rival to Twitter and other competitors. "We’re exploring a standalone decentralized social network for sharing text updates,” the company said. "We believe there’s an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests." Sources told MoneyControl that the app, codenamed P92, would be Instagram-branded and would allow users to log in with their Instagram credentials.

Stan Schroeder at Mashable notes since Instagram is based on sharing images, it might look like a "tough marriage," but Instagram has recently launched a feature called Notes that allows users to share text posts "and it might be the basis for the upcoming text-based app." According to MoneyControl's sources, the app would use the decentralized social networking protocol ActivityPub, which is used by Twitter rival Mastodon, among others. That means users would be able to set up their own servers, with their own rules for content moderation, Engadget notes.

Users unhappy with Elon Musk's leadership at Twitter—and the increasingly frequent outages and glitches—have been drifting away and analysts say the time could be ripe for a serious rival to emerge. "A decentralized social network with top-notch design and user experience, a functional trust and safety team, and Meta’s skilled growth hackers could be just the thing to disrupt Elon Musk’s ailing, brittle network," writes Casey Newton at Platformer. He notes that unlike other possible Twitter rivals, Meta could harness the power of Instagram, which is "already at global scale and counts among its users most of the public figures that would be necessary to kick-start a new text-based network." (More Meta stories.)

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