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Introducing P92: Meta's challenge to Twitter's dominance

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(Kitco News) - Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is looking to create its own text-based decentralized social media app in an effort to compete with Twitter, business news site Moneycontrol reported on Friday.

The new standalone text-based content app – dubbed P92 – will reportedly support ActivityPub, the decentralized social networking protocol that powers Mastodon, a Twitter rival that saw an influx of users after current Twitter CEO Elon Musk purchased the company last October.

Technology companies and startups have seen a burst of activity in the social networking arena since Musk took over Twitter, with several rival platforms including and T2 launching alongside Mastodon.

The new Meta app will be Instagram-branded and users will be able to register and log in to the app using their Instagram credentials. In crypto terminology, P92 will essentially be a “fork” of Instagram, as user profiles will be populated with their Instagram account details, such as name, username, bio, profile photo and followers.

It is not clear at this point whether the app is in the idea stage or if development has already begun. A source familiar with the project said the app is still a “work in progress,” according to Moneycontrol.

A spokesperson for Meta has since confirmed the breaking story. “We’re exploring a standalone decentralized social network for sharing text updates,” they said in a statement. “We believe there’s an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests.”

The new app will adhere to Instagram’s current privacy policy and will also include a supplementary privacy policy and terms of service that are specifically related to cross-app data sharing.

Sources said the plan is to build the terms of service in such a way that Instagram users who do not sign up for P92 will be presented to users who do choose to sign up for P92 to power friend recommendations. The development team also wants to use the profile data of all Instagram users as freely as possible regardless of their participation in P92 for purposes of analytics, product improvement and ranking on the new platform.

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Some of the features that the app’s initial version will include are tappable links in posts with previews, verification badges, the ability to share images and videos, and the ability to accumulate followers and likes. It’s not clear if the ability to comment or send messages will be available with the first version of the app, but those capabilities will eventually be integrated.

“The plan as of now is that the MVP (minimum viable product) will definitely allow our users to broadcast posts to people on other servers. It may or may not enable our users to follow and view the content of people on other servers,” said an inside source familiar with the matter.

Advanced features like the ability to reshare content are being considered for business and creator accounts, but there will be some limitations at the MVP stage.

“The team is also discussing whether to have the ability to reshare content like Twitter apart from business and creator accounts. A rights manager will be integrated from the beginning for first-party content, but probably not for third-party content from other apps and servers,” said another source.

P92 evolved out of the Notes feature introduced on Instagram in December, which allows users to share short posts of up to 60 characters using just text and emojis. At the time, The New York Times reported that the company was considering turning this feature into a Twitter competitor.

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