Instagram is planning to release a text-based app that will compete with Twitter.
The company is currently testing the project idea with celebrities and influencers, according to people familiar with the matter. Instagram has been in discussions with select creators for months, though none of them has had access to the full version of the app, according to one of the people.
The app, which will be separate from Instagram but will allow people to connect accounts, may debut as soon as June, according to Lia Haberman, who teaches social and influencer marketing at UCLA and published a screenshot of an early app description. It may eventually be compatible with other Twitter competitor apps, including Mastodon, according to Haberman’s screenshot.
Instagram, owned by Meta Platforms Inc., didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Twitter’s chaotic takeover by Elon Musk has caused some users to look for alternatives, and created an opening in the market.
“Historically, we know Meta likes to sample and recreate features from other apps and third-party tools based on what they anticipate being popular with their users,” Haberman said. She noted that Musk has talked about turning Twitter into an “everything app,” with a lot of features besides informational posts. “Based on Meta’s track record borrowing from other platforms, it’s much more likely they’ll get there first by consolidating all these experiences they’re building.”
The Mumbai-based news site Moneycontrol.com reported Meta was exploring plans for a text-based app in March, saying it had the internal code name P92. Others have reported the code name Barcelona.
Meta shares, which had been trading lower early Friday, turned positive on the news, touching their highest level since early 2022. They ended the day down 0.5% at $245.64, but have more than doubled this year.