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Meta's Chief Product Officer Chris Cox speaking at Facebook's F8 conference in 2018


During an internal meeting at Meta's headquarters in Menlo Park, California, Chris Cox, who is responsible for product development at the company, showed a screenshot of a new app that he himself described as "our answer on Twitter". The magazine »The Verge«, which was able to view the meeting, shows a screenshot of the app. The interface looks like Instagram, but without the images. Text contributions can be liked, commented on, reposted and shared – just like Twitter.

A special feature of the app, which was developed under the code name "Project 92", is that it uses the ActivityPub protocol developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This makes it possible, at least theoretically, for users to transfer data to and from other social media apps that support this protocol. The most well-known platform of this type at the moment is the decentralized social network Mastodon, which experienced a strong surge in popularity after Elon Musk's Twitter takeover.

Reliable platform for influencers

More important, however, is that, according to Cox, the new app will use Instagram's account system to automatically enter information about its users. However, it is unclear whether you can also log in to the new app with your Instagram account and possibly even bring your followers from there.

However, Cox left no doubt about the arguments used to lure people into the new social network. "We've heard from creators and public figures that they're interested in a sensibly operated platform that they can trust and rely on," the Meta executive said. He is clearly targeting the unrest that Elon Musk's decisions, which are often difficult to understand, are spreading among many Twitter users. For example, Musk recently offered US Republican Rome DeSantis a big stage. A short time later, Twitter withdrew from an EU agreement against the spread of disinformation on the Internet.

Cox describes the new Meta app, whose name has not yet been announced, as "secure, easy to use and reliable". The platform is a place where content producers can build an audience and grow it.

Celebrities as a lure

Meta's strategy to make the new app interesting to a wide audience right from the start seems to be to get celebrities to use it. According to Cox, the company has hired DJ and producer DJ Slime, among others. Talks are underway with other public figures, such as TV presenter Oprah Winfrey and the Dalai Lama.

When Meta's as-yet-unnamed Twitter competitor will be launched, Chris Cox left open.