Meta is working on its own ‘decentralised’ Twitter rival amid chaos at Elon Musk’s company

Facebook Russia Moldova (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Facebook Russia Moldova (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Facebook parent company Meta is working on its own “decentralised” rival to Twitter.

The company is exploring the possibility of a text-based platform, similar to the existing social network.

The announcement comes amid increasing chaos at Twitter since Elon Musk took over. Since he took over, the site has been hit by repeated outages and scandals including Mr Musk’s public attacks on his own employees.

Mr Musk has repeatedly suggested that Twitter’s financial situation could be difficult, suggesting that it needs a rapid increasing in profitability to survive. It has faced a loss of advertisers amid problems with content moderation on the platform, and the addition of paid verification that let users convincingly pose as companies.

Meta has also been struggling to generate interest in its own products, such as Facebook and Instagram. Both have faced stiff competition from rival social networks, such as TikTok, which has led to reduced levels of growth and cost-cutting at Meta.

In the past, Meta has borrowed features from rival, popular social media platforms in an attempt to take some of their user base. That has included adding “Reels”, its own TikTok-like platform in Instagram and Facebook, for instance.

Now it appears to be working on its own tool for “text updates”, like Twitter. But in being decentralised, it may also borrow from Mastodon, the rival “federated” social network that has picked up some users who have left Twitter in the wake of Mr Musk’s takeover.

“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 Reuters.

The tool is codenamed P92 and it is not clear whether significant work has actually begun on the app, said Moneycontrol, which first reported the news.

It will also support Activitypub, the open standard that some hope could allow for Twitter-like social media updates that would not be controlled by one specific company, it reported.