"They are much better acquirers than they are innovators or developers."
In a surprise to absolutely no one, Meta-formerly-Facebook has once again decided that the best way to beat 'em is to shamelessly copy 'em.
In an attempt to plug the void that the now-Elon-Musk-owned Twitter may or may not be leaving, Meta is building a decentralized, text-based Twitter alternative.
It's unclear when the app might roll out, but according to Platformer, Instagram head Adam Mosseri is in charge of the project, which has been internally dubbed " P92."
According to MoneyControl — which first reported on the story — the app "will be Instagram-branded," and users will be able to register and login through their Instagram credentials.
"We're exploring a standalone decentralized social network for sharing text updates," Meta told Platformer in an email. "We believe there's an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests."
Consistency is Key
Given Meta's past attempts to compete with YouTube and TikTok with video efforts like IGTV and Reels, a major Meta push to rope in Twitter's user base was probably inevitable.
And besides, at one fleeting point in time, Facebook actually was a place where people who weren't over the age of 60 did, in fact, post text updates.
What is a little surprising, though, is their decision to opt for a decentralized platform, considering that Meta's products themselves couldn't be less decentralized — a telling sign that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is hoping to not only compete with Twitter but also with similarly decentralized Twitter alternatives like Mastodon and the Jack Dorsey-founded BlueSky.
"The history of Meta is that they are much better acquirers than they are innovators or developers," Thomas Hayes, chairman and managing member of New York-based Great Hill Capita, told Reuters, "as far as copying Twitter, this is just a defensive move."
In any case, it'll be interesting to see what Zuckerberg and company will come up with. Here's hoping it's a little more impactful than Instagram Notes.
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