If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. 

TikTok-inspired Reels, Snapchat-inspired Stories…Twitter-inspired “Threads”?

Mark Zuckerberg is the latest to take a jab at disrupting Elon Musk’s Twitter network. Meta’s new venture dubbed ‘Project 92’ or ‘P92’ aims to replace Twitter.  Zuckerberg’s move against Musk is likely to be released as “Threads” and features design resembling an old version of Twitter.

At a company-wide meeting, Meta’s Chief Product Officer Chris Cox introduced the app as “our [Meta’s] answer to Twitter” while criticizing Musk: “we’ve been hearing from creators and public figures who are interested in having a platform that is sanely run, that they believe that they can trust and rely upon for distribution.” Cox boasted that celebrities including the Dalai Lama and Oprah committed to using the app.

Musk seemed unphased. The Twitter CEO responded by tweeting “zuck my tongue – referencing the Dalai Lama who recently told a child: “suck my tongue.” 

Project 92 will integrate directly with Instagram and allow its users to transfer their followers and information. The app will use ActivityPub – the protocol powering Mastodon, another Twitter rival. 

The Meta team described the upcoming app as 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 decentralized network allows users to moderate content autonomously via independent servers and server-specific rules. Promoting a decentralized social media app might be Meta and Zuckerberg’s way of pushing back against recent censorship criticism. 

The news begs the question: based on Meta’s history of monopolizing social media, could ‘Threads’ ever really be “decentralized”? Is Zuckerberg honestly willing to endorse an app he can’t control or is Meta’s narrative just a way to leverage billions of Instagram users? Coincidentally, the project lead is none other than Adam Mosseri – the head of Instagram. 

We’ve yet to see a profitable decentralized network of this scale but if anyone can do it, Zuck can. After all, a whopping 26% of Meta employees trust his leadership and he recently confirmed the “establishment” asked him to censor “misinformation” related to Covid-19. In his recent interview on the Lex Fridman Podcast, the CEO admitted posts labeled as misinformation ultimately turned out to be true.

Meta has yet to announce a formal release date for the app but will make it available “as soon as [they] can” stated Cox. Meanwhile, the tech billionaires agreed to a cage match on Wednesday…After Musk tweeted “I’m up for a cage match if he is,” Zuckerberg responded with an Instagram story – “send me the location.” Musk then requested a “Vegas Octagon” adding “I have this great move that I call ‘The Walrus’ where I just lie on top of my opponent & do nothing.”

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