Instagram is preparing to launch a text-based rival to Twitter, reports say


Embattled Twitter may soon have a serious rival: Facebook’s Instagram is planning to release a text-based app as a competitor.

Instagram, a property of Meta Platforms Inc. META, -0.49%, has been testing the service with creators, celebrities and influencers for months, according to people familiar with Meta’s strategy.

“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 told MarketWatch.

The app could debut as early as June, according to Lia Haberman, an adjunct professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who teaches social and influencer marketing. She published a screenshot of an early description of the app, which may eventually be compatible with rival Twitter apps like Mastodon.

Twitter has hemorrhaged users since Tesla Inc. TSLA, +1.84% Chief Executive Elon Musk began his chaotic leadership of the company late last year, prompting an exodus by disgruntled customers to alternative services like Mastodon and Bluesky.

Jasmine Enberg, an analyst at Insider Intelligence, said the text-based service has been in the works for months alternately code-named P92 or Barcelona.

“The big picture here is that there is clearly an appetite for Twitter-like services,” Enberg said in an interview. “With Twitter’s problems and so many alternatives, Meta’s new service looks like a mashup of Instagram and Twitter. Meta sees an opportunity to tap into this market, and it has a history of copying other popular apps [like Snap].”

Meta’s stock was flat in Friday’s regular trading session.

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