Meta is building a decentralized Twitter competitor | Engadget

Meta could offer an alternative to Twitter like Mastodon in the future, according to money control and platforms. The social media giant is reportedly in the early stages of developing an app codenamed P92 that would allow users to post text-based updates, and will support Mastodon’s social media protocol called ActivityPub. Meta confirmed that a decentralized social network is in the works at the company, telling the publications:

“We are exploring an independent decentralized social network for sharing text updates. We believe there is an opportunity to create a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests.”

P92 will be branded by Instagram and will allow users to register and log in with their Instagram credentials, according to the sources. It will populate the users profile with their Instagram account details if they use their photo sharing app login. But based on the product brief money control saw, “data sharing from Instagram to P92 will be minimal, if not none” after initial signup.

Since the app is decentralized, that means users can set up their own servers and set their own rules for content moderation. said a source money control that the app will allow users to broadcast their posts to those on other servers, but it remains to be seen if they will be able to follow each other as well. However, if the app supports ActivityPub, people are likely to expect it to be somewhat interoperable with Mastodon and other decentralized apps that use the protocol.

Meta has a list of features it definitely wants the app to have, including tappable links for posts with previews, shareable images and videos, as well as verification badges. Sources didn’t say whether the company will also charge a fee for its badges, but it’s worth noting that Meta launched a $12-a-month paid verification service for Facebook and Instagram in February. Users will be able to leave comments and send private messages, but these may not be available in the first version of the app. And at this point, Meta isn’t sure about giving people the ability to share posts like they do on Twitter.

MoneyControl says it’s not entirely clear if the company has already started building the app or if it’s still in the development planning period. By the time it launches, it’s bound to have several more competitors to contend with, as Twitter’s rivals have been popping up to offer users an alternative after Elon Musk took over last year.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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