Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta is steadily moving ahead with its plans to launch a Twitter rival, after celebrities are seeking a similar platform that is “sanely run.”
The standalone app is currently code-named Project92, and its public name is likely to be Threads.
Meta is also in talks with public figures like Oprah Winfrey, who has more than 42 million followers on Twitter, and the Dalai Lama, who has approximately 19 million followers, about being early users of the app.
“We’ve been hearing from creators and public figures who are interested in having a platform that is sanely run,” a top Meta executive told employees during an internal meeting Thursday, according to The Verge.
Meta’s chief product officer Chris Cox revealed coding was underway on the platform as the tech giant aims to launch the platform as soon as possible. While no official date has been provided by the tech giant, some speculation suggests it could be as early as the end of June, the New York Post reported.
The app is being seen as the Facebook and Instagram owner’s “response to Twitter.”
“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 was quoted as saying, as per BBC. “We’re exploring a standalone decentralized social network for sharing text updates.”
Meta is looking to integrate with ActivityPub, a technology that also supports Mastodon–a Twitter rival that is a decentralized collection of thousands of sites. Some reports also suggested that the new Meta app will be based on Instagram, where users will be able to sign in with the latter’s username and password. The platform will also transfer their followers, user bio and verification to the new app.
Cox underlined the new app was aiming for “safety, ease of use, reliability,” while giving creators a “stable place to build and grow their audiences.”
According to Meta, Instagram has more than two billion users, surpassing the 360 million user base of Twitter, however, this figure could not be confirmed.
Twitter has been witnessing a challenging period after the controversial takeover by Elon Musk last October. Since purchasing the platform for $44 billion, the Tesla boss has made numerous changes to the platform, including the introduction of subscription service, which resulted in a significant decline in Twitter’s user base. Many high-profile users expressed their anger after Twitter made blue checks a pay-to-play feature. Musk has also slashed half of the company’s workforce since taking over.
Amid these challenges, Twitter is also experiencing financial problems after a number of advertisers walked away from the platform.
Last month, Elon Musk appointed Linda Yaccarino, a TV advertising executive from NBCUniversal, as Twitter’s new chief executive. Musk would remain in charge of design and technology at the social media platform, with Yaccarino focusing majorly on business operations and transforming Twitter into the proposed “everything app” called X.