More Culture:

June 12, 2023

Meta developing social media platform to rival Twitter

The parent company of Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp could soon launch a text-based app called "Threads"

Social Media Instagram
meta twitter app Tracy Le Blanc/Pexels

Meta is reportedly creating a new text-based social media service similar to Twitter.

Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, is developing a new text-based social media platform to rival Twitter, and it could launch by the end of the summer.

"We're exploring a standalone decentralised social network for sharing text updates," a Meta spokesperson told the BBC. "We believe there's an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests."

The platform, which has a code name of "Project 92" (and a possible public name of "Threads"), would allow users to follow accounts they already follow on other social media. This is an advantage over other Twitter rivals, like Bluesky or Mastodon, as users could tap into previously established networks rather than starting from scratch.

Screenshots of the new app, which apparently were shared with Meta employees, reveal a text timeline that looks nearly identical to Twitter, but with like, comment and share buttons reminiscent of Instagram.

Coding for the platform was underway back in January, according to Meta's chief product officer Chris Cox, but no release date has been given. There is speculation that the app could be unveiled this month.

Meta has been in discussions with Oprah about using the platform and has tried to recruit the Dalai Lama as a user, according to reports.

"Threads" is the latest attempt to rival Twitter, which has fallen under public scrutiny since Elon Musk bought the company for $44 billion last October and proceeded to slash expenses and lay off staff. Twitter has also seen an uptick in the spread of disinformation under Musk.

Last month, Musk turned over the role of CEO to Linda Yaccarino, who tweeted "Game on!" in response to an article about Meta's new app.

Meta has already launched a Twitter-like feature on Instagram, the text-based "Notes," and has seemingly copied features from other social media platforms, like its "Reels" which are similar to TikTok. Instagram also has been testing a "Candid" feature that is similar to the app BeReal.

Follow Franki & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @wordsbyfranki | @thePhillyVoice
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice
Have a news tip? Let us know.