Meta, the owner of Facebook, has shared its intentions to create a new text-based social network to directly compete with Twitter, according to sources close to the matter, as reported by the BBC.
The proposed platform could enable users to follow the same accounts they currently follow on Instagram, Meta’s popular image-sharing app. Additionally, it may allow users to migrate their followers from decentralized platforms like Mastodon.
A spokesperson from Meta has confirmed the development of this new platform, stating that they are exploring the concept of a standalone decentralized social network focused on sharing text updates. The spokesperson emphasized the aim of providing a separate space for creators and public figures to share timely updates on their interests.
Meta’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, has revealed that coding is already underway for the platform. While no specific release date has been announced, Meta intends to launch it in the near future, with some speculation pointing towards a possible release by the end of June.
Recently leaked screenshots of the platform, reportedly shown internally to Meta employees, suggest that the user interface will bear similarities to Twitter. Sources within the company have confirmed the authenticity of these images.
This text-based network, currently referred to as P92, has the potential to pose a significant challenge to Elon Musk’s Twitter, surpassing rival initiatives like BlueSky and Mastodon. Unlike starting anew on a different social network, Meta could tap into its vast Instagram community, boasting approximately two billion users, which far exceeds the estimated 300 million Twitter users. However, these figures for Twitter can no longer be verified.
Meta has a track record of drawing inspiration from other products, though critics may view it less favorably. Features like Stories on Facebook were inspired by Snapchat, and Reels on Instagram bear a striking resemblance to TikTok.
Twitter has faced scrutiny recently regarding content moderation, leading the platform to withdraw from the EU’s voluntary disinformation code in May. Under Elon Musk’s leadership, reports suggest that Twitter’s moderation efforts have been scaled back, which critics argue has contributed to the spread of misinformation. Musk, however, claims that there is now “less misinformation rather than more” since assuming control in October 2022.