Meta teased a standalone app in a “response to Twitter” during a company-wide meeting on Thursday, and a top exec at the Facebook parent company has already taunted Twitter boss Elon Musk by saying the upcoming rival will be “sanely run.”
The app, internally code-named Project 92, will launch through Instagram and is rumored to be called Threads upon its release, according to The Verge.
The forthcoming app was demonstrated during an all-hands meeting on Thursday led by Meta’s chief product officer Chris Cox, who called the project “our response to Twitter,” the outlet reported.
Cox is already taking jabs at Musk and his handling of Twitter, which the Tesla and SpaceX CEO purchased in October for $44 billion and has since touted as “a place where all voices are heard.”
“We’ve been hearing from creators and public figures who are interested in having a platform that is sanely run, that they believe that they can trust and rely upon for distribution,” Cox said during the meeting, according to The Verge.
He said the goal of coding the app, which began in January, was to make sure that creators have a “stable place to build and grow their audiences” while creating a platform with a focus on “safety, ease of use [and] reliability.”
Cox went on to boast about the celebrities that have already committed to using the app, like Oprah, the Dalai Lama, and DJ Slime.
Meta will make the app available “as soon as we can,” Cox added.
Project 92 reportedly uses Instagram’s account system to automatically populate users’ information, and integrates with ActivityPub so users of the new app can take their accounts and followers with them to other apps supported by the decentralized social networking protocol.
The integration inherently makes the app a decentralized one — like Twitter rival Mastodon which launched in April and supports independent servers that create their own rules about things like content moderation.
It will be the first interconnected platform of its kind under Mark Zuckerberg’s umbrella of platforms, which includes Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
The upcoming app could have a leg up on Twitter because of its alliance with Instagram, which could allow it to leverage the photo-sharing app’s more than 1 billion users, according to Statista.
Twitter, meanwhile, has about 360 million users and has been riddled with controversy since Musk stepped in as boss, slashed half the company’s workforce, scared advertisers off the platform, and outraged high-profile users who made blue checks a pay-to-play feature.
As of April, users who once had their identity verified by a free blue check that distinguished them from imposters now have to pay a monthly fee to keep the prized badge. The cost of a blue checkmark now ranges from $8 a month for individual web users to a starting price of $1,000 monthly for an organization.
Most recently, Musk found someone “foolish enough” to succeed him: NBCUniversal recruit Linda Yaccarino.
She’ll be tasked with propping up the ad revenue that has reportedly plunged 59% this year and will have to scramble to meet sales projections — which the struggling company has frequently fallen short of, sometimes by up to 30%.
Yaccarino assumed the role on Monday — weeks earlier than expected — and has already started building out a trusted “flock,” starting with former colleague Joe Benarroch, who stepped into a senior business operations role.
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