Facebook’s parent company Meta is gearing up to launch a text-based social network to rival Twitter.
The platform could potentially enable users to easily follow accounts they already follow on Instagram and bring over their followers from decentralized platforms such as Mastodon.
“We’re exploring a standalone decentralized social network for sharing text updates,” Meta told its employees.
“We believe there’s an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests.”
While the company did not reveal the launch date of the new platform, it could potentially be as soon as the end of June 2023, BBC reported.
The text-based platform, which Meta is currently calling P92, is expected to have an interface similar to Twitter’s, leaked internal screenshots show.
While scaling a social media platform can be arduous, Meta has the added advantage of 2.3 billion daily active users on Instagram — much higher than the 300 million that use Twitter. If the company could attract just a quarter of its total Instagram user base, it could easily surpass Twitter.
Meta’s launch of P92 could pose significant competition to Twitter, which has been losing business since Tesla CEO Elon Musk bought the platform for $44 billion.
Earlier this year, Meta also took a cue from Twitter and launched its subscription program to give users access to verified accounts for a monthly subscription fee.
This is not the first time Meta has sought to outpace its competitors by duplicating their efforts on its own social media platforms. For example, Meta’s Stories feature duplicated a Snapchat feature, while Instagram Reels were developed following TikTok’s wild success with short-format video content.