LONDON: Meta is preparing to unveil a text-based app this summer in what many see as a direct competitor to Twitter.
According to people close to the matter, Meta’s photo and video-sharing social networking service Instagram is testing the beta version with celebrities and influencers, providing them with an exclusive preview of the upcoming app.
Meta has identified the need for a platform centered on real-time conversations and trending topics.
Emulating Twitter’s approach, this new social network aims to cater to users who are passionate about staying informed with the latest news and engaging in discussions with individuals sharing similar interests.
“We’re exploring a standalone decentralized social network for sharing text updates,” a Meta spokesperson said in April.
“We believe there’s an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests.”
According to Lia Haberman, a social media and influencer marketing teacher at UCLA, the app has discreetly been accessible to a select group of creators for several months and would be slated for debut as early as June.
Based on a (somewhat blurry) example I got, Meta's new app looks a lot like Twitter.
So, could this take over all the Twitter screenshots we've been seeing on the Feed lately? Maybe.
It’s impossible to predict how audiences will respond but this could be an alternative. pic.twitter.com/xgQa1kUjCl
— Lia Haberman (@liahaberman) May 19, 2023
As Haberman reported, the app will function as an independent entity separate from Instagram, but it will allow users to connect their accounts.
Early users have described the new platform as a combination of Instagram and Twitter, where they can create text posts up to 500 characters long and include links, photos, and videos.
Additionally, there is a possibility that the app may collaborate with other Twitter competitors like Mastodon, as indicated in Haberman’s screenshot.
The new platform still does not have an official name and is internally known as “P92” or “Barcelona,” but it is being designed following Instagram’s guidelines and branding.
Though Meta has not officially commented, the timing appears impeccable.
Twitter’s turbulent takeover by Elon Musk has prompted some users to search for alternatives, creating opportunities in the market.
“Historically, we know Meta likes to sample and recreate features from other apps and third-party tools based on what they anticipate being popular with their users,” said Haberman.
As Musk endeavors to transform Twitter into an “everything app,” Meta might outpace them by consolidating all these experiences they are developing.