Meta is working on a decentralized social application
Image sources: TechCrunch
If the social media phenomenon becomes more popular, Meta will try to jump in. We’ve seen the company copy various formats from stories to short videos after seeing the success of other platforms. The Mark Zuckerberg-led company is now working on a decentralized text-based application.
Meta confirmed this development in a statement, but did not provide details on when it plans to release the app.
“We are looking for an independent decentralized social network to share text updates. We believe that there is an opportunity to create a separate space where creators and public figures can share up-to-date information about their interests,” said the Meta spokesperson.
This new decentralized app, codenamed P92, is still in development, as first reported by MoneyControl. According to documents seen by the publication, the app allows users to log in using their Instagram credentials. This may annoy people who might not want to share this data with another Meta app.
Platformer reports that the project will be overseen by Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram. The company is already bringing in the legal department to sniff out early privacy concerns before making the app public, the report added.
Meta’s move is seen as a Twitter alternative or competitor to Mastodon. The latter gained popularity after Elon Musk took over Twitter. The decentralized network is part of Fediverse, a network of decentralized servers that support the ActivityPub protocol. According to MoneyControl, Meta’s new app also plans to support ActivityPub, making it easier to connect to other instances like Mastodon.
There are plenty of other tools that have implemented (or plan to implement) ActivityPub support, including Tumblr, Flipboard, and Flickr.
But decentralization is not limited to this protocol. Backed by Jack Dorsey, Bluesky launched a beta version of its iOS app last week. And messaging apps like Rocket.chat have adopted the Matrix protocol.
But former Twitter engineer Blaine Cook told TechCrunch last year that having competing protocols is a good thing.
“I think the diversity of protocols is important, as well as the diversity of applications based on protocols. However, I strongly believe that the collaboration between ActivityPub and Bluesky will not be difficult. The only thing that prevented interoperability between the timelines of Twitter and Facebook, for example, was the protectionist policies of those companies,” he noted.
It’s important to note that Meta tried to create new apps and experiences that didn’t always pan out. In the past few years, it’s killed off experiments like anonymous teen app tbh, Cameo-like app Super, Nextdoor clone Neighborhoods, dating app Tuned, student-focused social network Campus, video dating service Sparked, and the TikTok clone Lasso. name a few. So it won’t be surprising if the new decentralized experience shuts down within a few years of launch.