Meta is reportedly working on a text-based version of Instagram to compete directly with Twitter now that alternative micro-blogging platforms are starting to gain more buzz.
New Instagram will offer a micro-blogging experience for users to express their thoughts, opinions and more
According to a report by Lia Haberman in the ICYMI newsletter, an internal Meta marketing slide has provided a sneak peek at the app that the company has been working on. Although the platform doesn’t have an official name yet, it is internally referred to as “P92” or “Barcelona”.
Though this bears a striking resemblance to Instagram, the home screen showcases a timeline of “text-based” posts instead of a feed of photos and videos. Users can attach photos, videos, and links to these posts, mirroring the functionality found on Twitter. Users can also engage in replies and create threaded conversations on the platform.
Meta emphasizes that creators will be able to seamlessly bring their existing audience to the new app by allowing users to follow accounts they already follow on Instagram with just a single tap. The company also highlights the presence of moderation features and controls that enable users to manage who can reply to their posts and mention their accounts.
Notably, Meta claims to have been working on making its app compatible with other platforms, including Mastodon. In Meta’s words, “Users on these other apps will be able to search for, follow and interact with your profile and content if you’re public.”
While the success of Meta’s attempt to build a Twitter competitor remains uncertain, the company has a track record of replicating other platforms’ features and transforming them into successful products. Meta’s significant user base is its major advantage, as it can seamlessly invite its existing user pool to join the new app without requiring them to create a new account. Currently, Instagram boasts over 1 billion users, while Twitter has approximately 400 million.
As the competition for social media dominance heats up, it will be intriguing to see how Meta’s new app, backed by the popular Instagram brand, fares against existing and emerging alternatives. Whether it can sway users away from Twitter and capture their attention remains to be seen.