Instagram planning Twitter rival – report

Instagram is planning a text-based app to compete with Twitter, The South China Morning Post reports.

Citing “people familiar with the matter”, the report said that Instagram is currently testing the project with celebrities and influencers. It also said that, according to Lia Haberman, who teaches social and influencer marketing at UCLA, and who published a screenshot of an early app description on her own Twitter account, the app could be ready for its full launch as early as next month. The screenshot also suggests that the app may eventually be compatible with other Twitter competitor apps, including Mastodon.

Zarnaz Arlia, CMO of Emplifi, said that confirmation of Meta’s announcement that it’s building a text-based app comes as no surprise.

“It’s clear there is a demand from users for simple platforms that cater to text-based post updates,” she said. “With the transition of Twitter’s leadership, we saw an array of lesser-known apps such as Mastodon come to light in hopes of taking the crown. While there were temporary spikes in follower growth, nothing stuck.

“In contrast, Meta has billions of active users to market the new app to, making it easier for them to drive adoption vs. another platform to acquire new users. What is most striking about Meta’s announcement, though scarce in information, is that the plan is for the text-based platform to be decentralized. 

“This is highly irregular as Meta’s family of apps is centralized and traditionally exclusive when it comes to working with other platforms. It will be interesting to see how this plays out as decentralizing the app will give users far more flexibility, especially when it comes to content moderation, but it will also mean Meta stepping outside of its powerful walled-garden.”