Meta plans for decentralized social media app unveiled in new report

Social media giant Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META) is reportedly planning to set up a new social networking site focusing on decentralization to rival Twitter.

Dubbed P92, insiders say that users can access the platform using their Instagram log-in details and will be interoperable with Mastodon. The app has been described as a text-based content application with microblogging features.

Although still in the early stages, Meta has begun substantive work on the privacy concerns of the proposed social media platform, with cross-app data sharing being a focal point. Instagram head Adam Mosseri has been tipped to lead the project’s development as they race against the clock to launch the product.

“We’re exploring a standalone decentralized social network for sharing text updates. We believe there’s an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests,” a Meta spokesperson said via email.

In December 2022, Instagram launched a Notes feature that allowed users to share updates using up to 60 characters and emojis. There is widespread speculation that the feature could be scaled up to provide stiff competition to Twitter, but Instagram clarified that it would be taking things slow.

“The plan as of now is that the minimum viable product will definitely allow our users to broadcast posts to people on other servers,” said one insider. “It may or may not enable our users to follow and view the content of people on other servers.”

Meta’s push into a microblogging platform is coming at a time when Twitter is facing a difficult patch since Elon Musk took over the company. Following waves of job cuts and sketchy updates, swathes of users have threatened to ditch the platform for a suitable alternative, with Mastodon and Jack Dorsey’s Bluesky being named as worthy options.

Innovating at breakneck speed

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, changed its name to align itself with the goals of exploring the metaverse and virtual worlds. Although the move raised several eyebrows, the company has doubled down on its efforts, sparking a wave of Big Tech firms going into virtual worlds.

The company has also experimented with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Instagram to allow users to showcase their NFTs. Meta has teased users with further Web3 integrations like augmented-reality NFTs and removed the need for gas fees for NFTs purchased on the platform.

The renewed zest for Web3 technologies comes on the heels of failed experimentations with the Diem stablecoin project that faced stiff opposition from regulators. 

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