Twitter hasn’t been doing too well lately, and now the sharks are coming.
Facebook’s parent company Meta is working on a standalone, text-based social network app that will be both a rival to Twitter, and its decentralized competitor, Mastodon, at the same time.
Moneycontrol(Opens in a new tab) broke the news, and Meta confirmed the news, though the company didn’t share too many details about what it’s working on.
“We’re exploring a standalone decentralized social network for sharing text updates. We believe there’s an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests,” a Meta spokesperson told Moneycontrol.
The news isn’t entirely surprising. In December, a report claimed that Facebook is working on a “text-focused app using Instagram’s tech,” and the new report claims that the app will be “Instagram-branded” and will allow users to log in using Instagram credentials. And though it appears to be a tough marriage – Instagram is all about image sharing, after all – a recently launched Instagram feature called Notes allows users to share text posts with other users, and it might be the basis for the upcoming text-based app.
While the app, codenamed P92, might still be in early stages of development, we now know it’s going to be standalone, meaning it’s not just a feature tacked onto Instagram. The decentralized part means it’s likely going to support the decentralized social networking protocol ActivityPub, which is what Mastodon is based on. If so, it would be a big change in strategy for Meta, which controls nearly all aspects of the other social networks it owns.
It’s easy to see why Meta would move to compete with Twitter. Ever since Elon Musk took over, Twitter has been plagued by technical glitches and dwindling advertiser money, which Musk is trying to offset by firing the majority of the company’s workforce.