Meta's Twitter competition app is slated to launch next month

Meta’s Twitter competition app is slated to launch next month

Meta’s Twitter competitor is fast approaching launch. Selected YouTubers are now being briefed on how Instagram’s text-based app, tentatively titled “Barcelona,” will work.

Meta Barcelona app

As you can see from these images shared by ICYMI’s Lia Haberman, the new app is essentially a simplified version of Twitter geared more towards a chat-based feed.

That’s on purpose, as in recent years more and more conversations on IG have shifted to DMs, with the main feed becoming a discovery platform as users move away from public posting activity.

With that in mind, the new, separate app is designed to be like a giant group chat that anyone can join – similar in concept to that of Twitter, but with a more Instagram-specific twist.

Specifically, users can log into the app using their Instagram credentials, including your username, while you can also sync your IG followers. Users can post text updates of up to 500 characters, while you can add as well Links, photos and videos up to 5 minutes long.

And as you can see in the image of the main feed (the right screenshot above), not only can you reply to posts in the stream, but you can also like, reply, and repost, that is, repost. Tweet in the app.

The new app is based on a decentralized backend. This is Meta’s first attempt at building a decentralized network that aims to make your profile compatible with other decentralized systems.

According to meta:

“App users [like Mastodon] can search, follow, and interact with your profile and content, whether public or private, and approve them as followers. This allows you to reach new target groups without additional effort. In addition, creators could be eligible to be recommended to people who don’t already follow them.”

So while it’s seen as a Twitter competitor – which it is in some ways – the project is also Meta’s attempt to better adapt to evolving usage trends, while experimenting with decentralization and the ability for a more open system like We Can Social -Provide better service to media users on various fronts.

As previously mentioned, Meta has reportedly notified developers about the app, while Matt Navarra also notes the same Celebrities and high-profile sports stars will also be offered early access to the platform ahead of the release.

DM engagement has become a key focus for IG based on the usage shifts Meta is noticing in the app.

Instagram has already released several updates to accommodate this trend, including Broadcast Channels, its one-to-many messaging feature, andRemarks‘, which allows users to share a conversation prompt in a Stories-like bubble above your direct inbox.

Instagram Notes

A dedicated chat app is the next step forward, and it could be that this actually represents serious competition for Twitter, whether that’s the main goal of the project or not.

Also, considering that Instagram has over a billion daily active users, while Twitter has 253 million, and that Meta is trying to make it as easy as possible for those users to switch to the new app, it could well mean that the app is getting very big twitter-like stream, very fast, which could lead more twitter offshoots to spend more time in this new experience.

So far, Twitter activity seems to have stayed strong, despite some user objections to Musk’s changes to the app, as the alternatives just aren’t as appealing and require too much effort to recover your follower chart.

But with this new app allowing you to port your IG audience that could be another huge benefit and if Meta can make it as easy as possible to use without some of the headaches associated with other decentralized ones Apps come along, it could deal a serious blow to Twitter as it offers a far more viable alternative for those looking for another, similar place.

Elon has repeatedly told those upset about his changes to go elsewhere. Perhaps that will indeed be the case now, which could also lead to more advertiser attention shifts as Meta eventually tries to monetize the app as well (there won’t be any ads in the first release).

Either way, it’s an interesting experiment that could have big implications when it rumored to launch next month.

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