As if Meta doesn’t have its hands in enough honey pots, it looks like the tech giant has its gaze set on something new. While continuing to invest billions in its metaverse vision, VR hardware, emerging AI technologies, and a string of massively popular social media platforms, Meta is set to reimagine what Elon Musk killed: Twitter.
The news broke last week when social media marketer and Meta CMO Lia Haberman posted a screenshot slide to her Substack, depicting Meta’s plans to build a decentralized text app accessible via people’s Instagram usernames and passwords.
“In one tap, anyone can follow the accounts they follow on Instagram,” reads the screenshot, highlighting a significant advantage of the app over other Twitter competitors (depending, that is, on how well the process is designed and implemented).
Users will see a feed where they can create text posts, capped at 500 characters, with the option to attach links, photos and videos up to 5 minutes long. As with Twitter, users will also be able to engage with likes, replies and reposts.
“The decentralized app is built on the back of Instagram but will be compatible with some other apps like Mastodon,” writes Haberman, noting that users on other apps will be able to search for, follow and interact with P92 users’ profile and content.
The app’s name? P92. Release date? This June (possibly). The tagline? “Instagram for your thoughts.”
Okay, I lied. Technically, the news broke back in March when Meta said it believed there was “an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests,” as if it was inventing something…new?
It’s more likely that Meta noticed what we all noticed: Twitter, under Musk’s supervision, was (is) dying. And with as much power as it yields, Meta is in a place to do what it does best: take someone else’s winning idea, recreate it, and make a ton of money in the process.
But what else is there to know about Meta’s future microblogging platform?
Meta wants to onboard big names to help with the summer launch, and is likely already talking with creators, athletes, actors, producers, showrunners and comedians.
Furthermore, by integrating the app with Instagram, Meta has a notable advantage over other Twitter-adjacent apps like Mastodon or Bluesky. It has access to billions of users via not only Instagram but apps like Facebook, WhatsApp and Messenger. In comparison, Twitter’s daily active user number amounts to only 253 million.
With no recent word from Meta on development, it will be interesting to see how well the app works, whether people will or won’t flock to it, and how Twitter ––and its users and advertisers –– will react.
Musk’s company continues to zig and zag between semi-operational and oblivion, clinging on for dear life. The saga since Musk’s takeover has been beaten into the ground by the press -- but it should be noted that half of Twitter’s top 1,000 advertisers left the app, revenue is down 50%, hate speech has skyrocketed, Musk’s antics are driving a political and ethical line between users (despite his “goal” of facilitating “free speech”), most of the staff is gone, and now Tucker Carlson is calling Twitter home for his new show.
However, Group M has taken Twitter off its “high risk” list of channels and platforms to advertise on, with the agency holding company stating it’s “cautiously optimistic” about the hiring of Twitter’s new CEO and veteran ad sales executive Linda Yaccarino. So, things are just beginning to look up (or normal-ish) for the platform.
But it’s scary how good Meta is at pouncing when the time is right. And from what I can see, that time is now.
Zuckerberg is stumbling all over himself in the metaverse and we need to remind ourselves that he bought Instagram - he didn't create it. The people who use Instagram are different than the people who use Twitter.
I'll keep my money on Musk vs. Zuckerberg taking down Twitter.