Facebook and Instagram parent Meta prepares to launch text-based Twitter rival as it looks to offer ‘sanely run’ alternative
Facebook and Instagram parent Meta has reportedly shown screenshots of a planned Twitter rival to staff in an internal meeting, as it plans to launch the app in the near future.
Meta chief product officer Chris Cox told the meeting last Thursday that there was a demand from creators and public figures for “a platform that is sanely run, that they believe that they can trust and rely upon for distribution”, according to news site The Verge.
Potential clients include Oprah Winfrey and the Dalai Lama, he said.
Cox’s remarks apparently referred to Twitter under controversial owner Elon Musk, who took over the platform last October.
Meta confirmed the plans, saying it is “exploring a standalone decentralised 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,” the company added.
The product, codenamed Project 92, is Meta’s “response to Twitter“, Cox reportedly told the meeting.
A screenshots shown at the meeting revealed a Twitter-like interface, with blue ticks, profile pictures, and reply, like and reshare buttons.
Cox said Meta was in discussions with Oprah Winfrey, who has more than 42 million followers on Twitter, and the Dalai Lama, who has nearly 19 million, to be potential P92 users.
Coding for the app began in January and it will be made available “as soon as we can”, he said.
The app is planned to integrate with ActivityPub, which also underpins decentralised Twitter rivals such as Mastodon, Cox reportedly said.
In theory that means users of P92 could move their accounts and followers to Mastodon and other ActivityPub-based apps.
Potential user base
Earlier reports said the app would be based on Instagram and would allow users to sign in with an Instagram username and password, with their followers, user bio and verification transferring over to P92.
Meta says Instagram has about two billion users, compared to around 250 million for Twitter, according to Musk.