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The Rise of Meta: A New Social Network Competing with Twitter

Technology has empowered mankind in a way that no other thing could ever do. Be it the education industry or the healthcare sector, a 2-year-old girl, or an accomplished neurosurgeon, today, anyone and everyone is laying hands-on technology for a plethora of purposes. One of the groundbreaking technologies that enhanced our connectivity to a great extent is that of social media. It all started with Facebook, and then we had Instagram, WhatsApp Messenger, and whatnot! Over time, Facebook has grown as a tech giant and so does the associated apps. It was in 2021 when all these applications were brought under one name - Meta. Recently, to add a feather to its cap, Meta will be launching a brand-new platform that can prove to be an alternative to Twitter. Shocked? Scroll down to know more.

What is Meta?

First things first. Meta builds technologies that help people connect, find communities, and grow businesses. When Facebook launched in 2004, it changed the way people connect. Apps like Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp further empowered billions around the world. Now, Meta is moving beyond 2D screens toward immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality to help build the next evolution in social technology.

All you need to know about the new platform

Christened P92, Meta will be launching a stand-alone app for sharing text updates, roughly along the lines of Twitter. Herein, the users would log in using their Instagram credentials.  The move could help Meta attract some of the Twitter users who are looking for alternatives after Musk took over and changed some of the site’s rules. Decentralized social networks, like Mastodon or Jack Dorsey-backed Bluesky, rely on individual servers which use a uniform protocol, avoiding centralized control of content and possible censorship. It isn’t clear how long Meta has been working on the P92 product, or whether the company has moved into the development process. The effort by Meta would expand its offerings beyond Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, and into a space that has been dominated by Elon Musk’s Twitter. The project is being led by Instagram head Adam Mosseri. Ironically, Meta’s plans come at a time when its biggest platform, Facebook, is struggling to attract the attention of a younger audience, while its huge investments in the Metaverse, a virtual world where users interact and work, show little signs of paying off, at least in the near term. Its video-sharing app, Instagram, is also facing stiff competition as content makers or hit influencers abandon the platform for TikTok.

Read More: How to Use Facebook to Build a Professional Network for Your Business

Twitter’s Terrible Tale

2022 was a rendition of Twitter’s terrible tale. Haha! Sorry, Elon! Well, controversies that are usually the subject of Twitter, from celebrities to politics, the biggest issue was the network itself, acquired by Elon Musk after a veritable saga involving its purchase. The social network was already working on implementing some features, such as the edit button and the possibility of opting for a chronological feed. Musk’s entry, however, brought many more controversial changes. Here’s a comprehensive list:

  • COVID-19 Misinformation Policy

Almost a month after Elon Musk purchased Twitter, the social network reported that it would no longer apply the policy of misleading information about COVID-19. In practice, the site will no longer flag tweets that spread misinformation on the subject, causing concern among users, the press, and public bodies, as it is one of the most popular social networks worldwide. Although the dreaded COVID has been declawed misinformation can ignite sparks of cases.

  • Twitter Blue

After a disastrous attempt to make verified accounts available to any user – without any information verification – Twitter has returned with this possibility. Twitter Blue allows users to purchase the blue badge for $8 a month. If the purchase is made via iOS, the amount increases to $11 per month. The product is not yet available for all countries. But, to buy a blue stamp, it will only be necessary to authenticate the cell phone number and the user cannot change information such as their photo and name in the seven days prior to the purchase. In addition to the changes regarding the blue seal, colored seals were also created, which are still being implemented: gold for businesses and gray for governments and multilateral accounts.

  • Character Increase

Another recently announced change is the character increase. In response to a user on Twitter, Elon confirmed that the network will increase the text limit from 280 to 4000 characters. The change has not yet appeared and it is not known when and how it should happen. However, it seems to be related to trying to influence users to use the tool itself to share larger texts, instead of resorting to screenshots of text apps.

  • Links to other social networks were banned 

Boom! The site also announced that it will prohibit the inclusion of links to other social networks in tweets, with the purpose of promoting them. Among the affected networks would be Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Post, and Nostr. So-called cross-posting, such as including YouTube videos in a Tweet, will not be prohibited.

In addition to the announced changes, often on Musk’s own account, Twitter also experienced internal problems after his arrival. One is the mass resignation via email, followed by a wave of sudden resignations. Amid so much confusion, the Human Resources area of ​​Twitter had to create a new internal category, “accidental termination”, since vital areas were left without employees. Moreover, the Trust and Safety Council, a council created to help combat hate speech on the platform, was dissolved. As a result, the social network already appears to be facing a growing wave of hate speech, which has increased dramatically under the administration of Elon Musk, according to a survey by groups such as the Center for Countering Digital Hate and the Anti-Defamation League. Another controversy, this time involving users, was the banning of accounts by journalists from publications such as The New York Times and the Washington Post, who issued opinions contrary to Musk’s ideas. This action was heavily criticized, including by European public bodies, as it violates press freedom. Elon Musk justifies his actions under the guise of improving Twitter’s performance and reaching more users.

However, it has caused confusion wherever it goes. Either by suddenly implementing ideas without considering their consequences or by creating an environment more conducive to extremist opinions. Musk had opened a poll on Twitter asking the community if he should step down as CEO of the company. He promised to abide by the results of the poll. The majority of people answered “yes”. Let’s see what happens next.

To add to Twitter’s woes, users started posting memes wherein Twitter can be seen posing with its own grave. What a mess Twitter has become!

Read More: Your Business Needs the Best Social Media Management Tools

Meta’s new platform is making the papers

P92 has been making the paper since then. “We’re exploring a standalone decentralized social network for sharing text updates,” a Meta spokesperson told CNBC on Friday. “We believe there’s an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests.”

On the other hand, Moneycontrol, which first broke the story, cited a person familiar with the matter who said the idea of P92 was still a “work-in-progress.”

Twitter has been struggling to hold on to its advertising base since Musk’s takeover of the platform late last year. Companies have pulled back spending following Twitter’s move to restore suspended accounts and release a paid account verification that resulted in scammers impersonating firms. “The history of Meta is that they are much better acquirers than they are innovators or developers … as far as copying Twitter, this is just a defensive move,” said Thomas Hayes, chairman and managing member of New York-based Great Hill Capital. “They’re just trying everything… at least with a mini blogging site like Twitter, there’s some expectation that it could start to make money out of a much quicker timeline than the metaverse investment.” Meta’s investments in the metaverse will not drive revenue growth until 2030, analysts have said. Meta shares were little changed in early trade since the announcement.

In some ways, this news feels like an inevitable next step for Meta. Instagram debuted its text-only Notes feature just last year, which sparked speculation that Meta may be exploring their own Twitter-like tool. The biggest surprise may be the decentralized nature of this new app. Traditionally, Meta has maintained a tight grip on all aspects of its platforms. A decentralized app would allow users to create Reddit-like servers or communities with their own rules. In theory, it may even enable third-party developers to build new tools or features for the app. Meta’s move is seen as its attempt to build a Twitter alternative or a Mastodon competitor. The latter gained popularity after Elon Musk took over Twitter. The decentralized network is part of the Fediverse — a network of decentralized servers — that supports the ActivityPub protocol. Meta’s new app also plans to support ActivityPub, making it easier to connect with other instances like Mastodon, according to MoneyControl.

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