Meta was rumored to be working on a standalone Twitter competitor, and a new leak shows not only what it might look like, but also how it would pair and sync with Instagram and other apps.
As reported by Lia Haberman, the text-based app could come as soon as June, will be built on the back of Instagram, and will feature a feed that looks extremely close to both Twitter and Mastodon. According to the report, the app will allow users to post text updates of up to 500 characters as well as photos and videos.
In what appears to be a low-resolution slide from an internal deck, the app claims to offer four main features: the ability to talk directly with an audience and peers, integration with Instagram, compatibility with other apps like Mastodon, and a focus on safety and security.
The app promises to allow users to quickly build an audience through a direct link with Instagram. With minimal effort, anyone can follow the accounts that they already follow on Instagram.
Based on a (somewhat blurry) example I got, Meta's new app looks a lot like Twitter.
So, could this take over all the Twitter screenshots we've been seeing on the Feed lately? Maybe.
It’s impossible to predict how audiences will respond but this could be an alternative. pic.twitter.com/xgQa1kUjCl
— Lia Haberman (@liahaberman) May 19, 2023
Meta also seems to be taking security and privacy seriously, or at least are claiming to. Accounts that a user has blocked on Instagram will carry over into the new app and the company will be enforcing the same Community Guidelines it has on its other apps in the new text-based app to “ensure everyone interacts safely and authentically.”
The new app also appears to be more inclusive than the Elon Musk-owned blue bird service, since Meta is advertising that it will be compatible with other apps like Mastodon — which could easily be considered a competitor — right off the bat.
“Users on these other apps will be able to search for, follow, and interact with your profile and content if you’re public, or if you’re private and approve them as followers,” the slide reads. “This allows you to reach. new audiences with no added work.”
Instagram already tried one angle late last year to compete with Twitter called “Notes,” which was somewhat haphazardly slapped on to the existing Stories interface. That feature let users add a short text post of up to 60 characters using just text and emojis to their profile and was far less robust than what Meta has apparently been cooking up to more directly compete with Twitter.
More details from the report can be read in Haberman’s ICYMI newsletter.