In a recent all-hands staff meeting, Meta executive Chris Cox provided more insights into Meta’s highly anticipated Twitter clone app. The app, currently referred to as ‘P92’ or ‘Barcelona’ in leaked versions, is set to offer a text-based feed with the ability to incorporate photos and videos into posts. The user interface resembles a direct message thread, with replies expanding beneath each message and profile icons indicating responders.

The app will feature four tabs, including a main feed, explore, favorites, and user profiles. Users will have a composer window accessible through a middle button for creating their own posts. While the latest screenshots differ slightly from those shared with creators, it could be due to varying presentation based on the operating system.

Cox explicitly described the app as a direct response to Twitter, while also expressing criticism towards Elon Musk’s disruptive reign on the platform. The motivation behind the app’s development stems from feedback received from creators and public figures who desire a trustworthy and well-managed platform for content distribution.

According to reports, the app may ultimately be called ‘Threads’ upon release. However, it’s worth noting that Instagram previously used this name for an unsuccessful spin-off app in 2019, which was eventually discontinued. While using a previously unsuccessful project name may seem risky, Meta appears undeterred by superstitions. Existing information about the upcoming app includes the use of Instagram credentials for login, with users’ Instagram IDs serving as their usernames in the new app. P92 posts will reportedly have a maximum length of 500 characters.

The app will be decentralized, though the exact implications of this within Meta’s framework remain unclear. Integration with the decentralized protocol ActivityPub is also anticipated, allowing users to transfer their information, including audience data, to other apps that support the protocol. Mastodon is one such app that supports ActivityPub integration.

Cox revealed that Instagram representatives are already engaging in discussions with various celebrities, such as Oprah and the Dalai Lama, to increase awareness and usage of the app. While YouTube influencers may hold greater sway over younger audiences, Meta’s focus on older users suggests a deliberate strategy to target Twitter’s aging user base. The median age of adult US Twitter users is 40, with a higher educational background compared to other platforms, making them the likely target for Meta’s new endeavor. By attracting prominent figures who will exclusively post on the new app, Meta aims to entice this influential demographic away from Twitter. With Meta’s extensive reach and promotional capabilities, courtesy of its integration with Instagram, which boasts four times the audience of Twitter, the project may gain significant traction.

While it is premature to pass judgment on the app’s potential success, it appears to address several long-standing concerns. Offering a similar user experience to Twitter, the app aims to provide seamless login and usability, improving upon criticisms faced by similar platforms like Mastodon. Furthermore, Meta’s extensive reach and influence in the social media landscape present a significant advantage for the app’s promotion and adoption.

As the direction of Twitter under Elon Musk comes into question, the timing may be ideal for influential users to seek an alternative platform for their real-time updates. If Meta’s new app fulfills its promises and attracts a critical mass of notable users, it could emerge as the long-awaited Twitter alternative. Stay tuned for further updates on the app’s progress and launch.

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