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Meta Is Planning To launch A Twitter Competitor App Next Month

May 21, 2023 1:17:43 PM

Meta's text-based app, tentatively named 'Barcelona', which is set to compete with Twitter, is nearing its launch. Instagram has started briefing selected creators on how the app will work.

These images shared by ICYMI's Lia Haberman show that the new app is similar to Twitter but with a chat-based feed.

The reason for this change is that users have been using Instagram Direct Messages (DMs) more frequently for their conversations over the past few years, causing the main feed to become primarily a tool for content discovery. As a result, there has been a decrease in public posting activity.

The new app is similar to Twitter, but with an Instagram-specific twist. It's like a group chat that anyone can join. You can use your Instagram details, including your username and followers, to sign up. You can post text updates up to 500 characters long, as well as add links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes in length.


As shown in the screenshot above, you can reply, like, and re-post in the main feed just like you would on Twitter through re-tweeting.

Meta is currently developing a new app with a decentralized back-end. This marks the company's first venture into building a decentralized network. The aim is to ensure that your profile is compatible with other decentralized systems.

As per Meta:

“Users on apps [like Mastodon] will be able to search for, follow and interact with your profile and your content if you’re public, or if you’re private and approve them as followers. This allows you to reach new audiences with no added work. In addition, creators may be eligible to be recommended to people who don’t yet follow them.”

Meta's new project can be seen as a competitor to Twitter, but it's more than that. They are trying to adapt to changing usage trends, experiment with decentralization, and create a more open system to serve social media users in different ways.

According to reports, creators have been receiving briefings from Meta about the app. Early access to the platform is also being offered to celebrities and high-profile sports stars before its public release.

Based on shifts in app usage, Meta has noticed that DM engagement is now a significant focus for Instagram.

Instagram has made updates to cater to this trend, including features like Broadcast Channels, which enables one-to-many messaging, and Notes which allows users to share a conversation prompt in a Stories-like bubble above their Direct inbox.

It's possible that a new dedicated chat app could provide competition for Twitter, even if that's not its main goal. With Instagram having over a billion daily active users compared to Twitter's 253 million, and with Meta making it easy to switch to the new app, the chat app could become a large Twitter-like stream quickly. This could result in more former Twitter users spending time in this new chat app.

Although some users have objected to Musk's changes on the app, Twitter activity appears to remain strong. This is because the alternatives are not as engaging and will require too much effort to rebuild your follower base.


The new app allows you to transfer your Instagram audience. This feature could be a huge advantage for the app. If Meta can make the app user-friendly and avoid complications that often come with decentralized apps, it could be a strong rival to Twitter. For those who want to try another platform similar to Twitter, this app might be a better alternative - and its reportedly launching next month.

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