In a move that has caught the attention of the tech world, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Meta Platforms, has reportedly decided to launch a new social media network to compete with Tesla CEO Elon Musk‘s Twitter. While the two men have long had a strained relationship, their recent moves in the social media space have brought their rivalry to the forefront.
Since Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022, both Zuckerberg and Musk have been competing for advertising dollars and the attention of consumers and influencers. While Twitter is a direct competitor to Instagram and Facebook, which attract more advertisers, Musk has been exploring other sources of revenue for Twitter 2.0. In November, he revamped the platform’s subscription service, Blue, by incorporating a blue badge for verifying the identity of the account. This allowed Musk to raise the monthly price of Blue to $7.99 for regular users and $11 for iPhone owners.
In response to the slowdown in advertising revenue, Zuckerberg recently launched Meta Verified, a service that offers users the chance to have their Facebook and Instagram accounts verified. Verified accounts carry a blue badge, and the service costs $11.99 a month for web users and $14.99 a month for those using Apple‘s iOS operating system. However, it seems that Zuckerberg is not content with just copying Musk’s initiative; Meta is reportedly building a decentralized, text-based social network to directly compete with Twitter, as noted by Moneycontrol.
According to reports, the project, codenamed P92, is still in the preliminary stage and is being piloted by Adam Mosseri, who runs Instagram. Meta plans to specialize in text updates, similar to how Instagram specializes in photos. The launch date for the project is unknown, but Instagram users will reportedly be able to access the new social network by logging in with their Instagram login and password.
“We’re exploring a standalone decentralized social network for sharing text updates. We believe there’s an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests” a Meta spokesperson said.
Zuckerberg’s aim is to appeal to people who are unhappy with Musk’s direction on Twitter. Musk has made the platform a bastion of conservatives, who he claims were muzzled under Twitter 1.0. Musk’s Twitter has no content management policy, and any tweet is acceptable as long as it does not violate the law. Building a decentralized app will not only allow Meta to embrace the new trend in tech but also respond to the criticism often leveled at Facebook and Instagram.
While it remains to be seen how successful Meta’s new social network will be, it is clear that the rivalry between Zuckerberg and Musk is not going away anytime soon. As both men continue to innovate and compete in the social media space, consumers and advertisers will undoubtedly be watching closely to see what new developments arise.