Instagram Might Be Working On A Twitter Killer

Trading one for another. Credit: Photo Illustration by Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitter sucks, and it looks like Instagram is coming for its users.

Lia Haberman first reported in her ICYMI Substack(opens in a new tab) that Instagram is building a social media platform that resembles an amalgamation of the two social media giants. In the screenshot Haberman shared, the app was called “Instagram’s new text-based app for conversations” but she reported that internally, it’s being called P92, Project 92, or Barcelona.

Interestingly, unlike Meta’s Facebook or Instagram, the app will be decentralized.

“Soon, our app will be compatible with certain other apps like Mastodon,” Instagram’s slide reads. “Users on these other apps will be able to search for, follow and interact with your profile and content if you’re public, or if you’re private and approve them as followers.”

Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) Haberman reported that Meta has been having secret calls with select creators about a new app built that’ll be compatible with Meta-owned apps and other apps like Mastodon. 

The app, which could allegedly be released as soon as late June, uses your Instagram username and password for a sign-in. It will have a feed for the people you follow and a recommended feed, like TikTok’s infamous FYP.

The text updates can be up to 500 characters long — longer than the non-Twitter Blue users’ 280-character limit, but shorter than subscribers’ 4,000-character limit or even the length of an Instagram caption. Users will allegedly be able to attach links, photos, and videos up to five-minute-long, and can like and reply to others’ posts.

It’s attached to Instagram, so you can sync your existing followers on Instagram and any words or people you’ve blocked on Instagram will carry over. Instagram will enforce its community guidelines on the new app, too.

This comes months after Instagram launched Notes, which brought pure text to the platform but was no replacement for tweets. Notes show up next to your profile picture on the DM inbox screen and are only up to 60 characters and emojis — but even fewer than that show in the preview. Notes only show for 24 hours.

Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Mashable, and all of this, if it is as it has been reported, is just in a baby phase — nothing to see here yet. But the company told Platformer in March(opens in a new tab): “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.”

Christianna Silva is a Senior Culture Reporter at Mashable. They write about tech and digital culture, with a focus on Facebook and Instagram. Before joining Mashable, they worked as an editor at NPR and MTV News, a reporter at Teen Vogue and VICE News, and as a stablehand at a mini-horse farm. You can follow them on Twitter @christianna_j(opens in a new tab).

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