Mark Zuckerberg may launch his own rival platform to Twitter in the coming months, all part of his masterplan to capitalize on chaos and user discontent led by Elon Musk.
Coding on the new social app, codenamed Project 92, began this past January at Facebook parent company Meta, Meta chief product officer Chris Cox said at a companywide meeting earlier this month.
And big-name celebrities are already in talks to commit their posts to the platform, including broadcasting legend Oprah Winfrey and Tibetan religious leader the Dalai Lama – a curious choice, given the Buddhist icon’s bizarre ‘suck my tongue’ incident in the past this spring.
“We’ve heard from creators and public figures who are interested in having a platform that’s managed intelligently,” Cox told Meta staff, lobbing a thinly veiled critique of Musk’s Twitter operations.
According to The Verge, the dig drew cheers from the Met’s assembled staff.
News reports suggest that the public name of Meta’s new app could be ‘Threads’. Threads will have a 500-character limit per post, which is higher than Twitter’s original policy
The Dalai Lama apologized last April, after a disturbing video surfaced on social media in which he kissed a young Indian boy on the lips before telling him to ‘suck’ his tongue. Tibetan religious leader Mater is one of the big-name celebrities in talks to join the Twitter rival.
The rich, famous and influential, Cox said, are desperate for a new platform ‘that they believe they can trust and rely on for delivery.’
Reports suggest that the public-facing name of the new app may become ‘Threads’ and it will feature a continuous text scroll similar to Twitter with similar buttons for both like and retweet functions.
Threads will also cut closer to Twitter’s original 180-character limit, offering a slightly longer, but still shorter 500-character limit per post. According to one social media industry insider, the threads look ‘remarkably similar to Twitter’.
Many ordinary Twitter users, as well as the platform’s large community of scientific experts, academics and even former NASA astronauts, have explored alternatives in recent months.
Mastodon – a free, decentralized and open-source microblogging platform – has increasingly become a haven for scientists hoping for a higher level of dialogue among themselves.
‘I was much more active there than I was on Twitter,’ after his own move to Mastodon, European Space Agency astronomer Mark McCaugheran told Science late last year.
Many have described the platform as a more democratic alternative than Twitter, as Mastodon’s decentralized structure means that no single person, company or faction has complete control over its operations.
Many Twitter users, scientific experts and even former astronauts have looked for alternatives in recent months. Former NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez has pledged to jump from the platform, amid Musk’s plan to turn ‘Blue Check’ verification into a pay-to-play scheme
Big-name celebrities are already in talks to commit their posts to Meta’s new Twitter rival, codenamed ‘Project 92’, including Oprah (right) and the Dalai Lama (left).
Last November, Mastodon reported more than 70,000 new sign-ups on a single Friday, in direct response to Musk’s eventual $44 billion acquisition of Twitter.
‘If it becomes too toxic and offensive,’ Emory University virologist Boghuma Titanzio told Science in a playful twist on Twitter, ‘I’ll leave to protect my sanity and consider other platforms.’
Former NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez has also vowed to jump off the platform, amid plans to convert Musk’s ‘Blue Check’ verification into a pay-to-play scheme, although Hernandez has so far remained an active Twitter user.
But Musk also has the admiration of those, such as Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Republican Senator John Kennedy on Capitol Hill, who see the billionaire as a champion of free speech for his platform to revive First Amendment rights.
Musk, Senator Kennedy said last December, has taken a “very bold stance on the First Amendment” since the Twitter acquisition. ‘He’s as tough as a pine knot.’
‘Project 92’, which Cox clearly describes as ‘our response to Twitter’, will integrate with Instagram’s current account system, allowing Instagram users to automatically transfer their follower and user data directly to the new microblogging site.
It will also integrate with Mastodon and other decentralized platforms that use the same ActivityPub API system as Mastodon, Cox said.
According to social media consultant Matt Navarra, the app’s design, called Threads, “looks remarkably like Twitter,” or really old Twitter, as Musk’s version continues to experiment with everything from long posts to newsletters to exclusive live. broadcasting
Navarra, who claims insider knowledge of Metro’s plans, told the Sydney Morning Herald that Metro’s Twitter-killer could launch ‘at the end of the month or early next month’.
‘They’re onboarding people for a short period of time,’ Navara says. ‘I know they’ve spoken to a British celebrity, and some US stars.’
That said, Meta’s chief product officer Cox has revealed the only name as a lock for their new platform is Minneapolis, Minnesota-native music producer DJ Slime, who has promised to use the Cox app.
Cox told company staff that Meta’s goal for ‘Project 92’ was to create an app that emphasized ‘security, ease of use, reliability’ so that creators would have ‘a stable place to build and grow their audience’.
Meta, Cox said, will make the app public ‘as soon as possible’.
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