The ongoing battle to create a Twitter alternative is reportedly getting a new contender, and it’s a beast to reckon with—Meta.
According to TechCrunch, the app expected to launch this summer will stand on its own, but will be partially integrated within Instagram (owned, like Facebook, by Meta). “Users will keep their Instagram verification and handle, and all of their followers will receive a notification to follow them on the to-be-named platform. Meta’s text-based platform will be decentralized and interoperable with Mastodon, which is built on the ActivityPub protocol,” the article on TechCrunch says.
In a letter to a select group of creators, Meta acknowledges that competitors like Mastodon and Bluesky have head starts in the race to possibly supplant Twitter, but says Meta already possesses a successful family of apps, through which billions of users would be able to access its newest venture.
Lia Haberman, a professor of social and influencer marketing at UCLA and one of the users privy to a peek at the new product, allows that it looks a lot like Twitter and notes that preferences on Instagram—blocked accounts, hidden words—would carry over to this new platform.
MoneyControl reports that the new app is code-named P92; a financial tech professional said on Twitter that it may be called Instagram Notes.
While some people might have Twitter-alternative fatigue, Meta’s entry in the field has its strengths. Instagram users probably wouldn’t have to set up a new account, and depending on how much it’s integrated with Instagram, becoming active might feel more approachable, especially if users can automatically retain their Instagram following on the new app—it won’t be like starting from scratch. Plus, while many Instagram users are not active on Twitter, this potential crossover alleviates the burden of toggling between separate platforms. There’s something to be said for one-stop shopping, not just for individuals but for brands especially.
Meta’s competitor is expected to roll out in June of this year, so a potentially viable Twitter alternative isn’t at all far away. As for whether or not it sticks—or goes the way of Instagram’s attempt at a Pinterest alternative (can’t win ’em all!)—we will just have to wait and see.
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