Instagram is reportedly venturing into new territory, aiming to become a fierce competitor to Twitter with its text-based social application.
Lia Haberman recently shed some light on the shape of things to come, sharing details and what seems to be a leaked promotional slide in her latest edition of the ICYMI Substack newsletter.
The promotional slide does not assign a unique title to this prospective application.
Instead, it ambiguously labels it as “Instagram’s new text-based app for conversations.”
Internally, Haberman disclosed that the project is being referred to as P92 or Barcelona.
The new application is designed to allow users to log in using their Instagram credentials.
This means one’s followers, username, biography, and verification status would be transferred seamlessly from Instagram’s main platform.
The unique proposition of this app lies in its offering of a text-based feed, allowing users to share posts containing up to 500 characters.
This can be complemented by adding links, images, or videos.
Initial impressions from a couple of screenshots on the leaked slide suggest the new app might seem like a hybrid of Instagram and Twitter.
Meta, Instagram’s parent company, prioritizes users’ control and security in the forthcoming app.
According to the slide, users will have the ability to manage who can reply to or mention their account and any blocked accounts on Instagram will also be blocked on this new app.
The stand-out feature of this text-based Instagram application is its touted decentralization aspect.
For example, the company’s promotional material states, “Soon, our app will be compatible with certain other apps like Mastodon.”
This would allow users of those apps to search for, follow, and interact with your content, provided your profile is public or approved as a follower.
This interoperability will likely be facilitated via ActivityPub, a protocol that Meta, among other tech firms, has been investigating.
Given Twitter’s ongoing struggles, many users are scouting for a new platform for sharing concise, tweet-style updates.
While networks like Mastodon and Bluesky have seen momentum, Instagram’s text-based app could present a compelling solution, allowing its established user base to continue sharing updates without the hassle of amassing followers on a new platform.
Meta has remained tight-lipped, declining to comment on these revelations.
However, in a statement released in March to Platformer, the company admitted to exploring a separate, decentralized social network focusing on sharing text updates.
They stated, “We believe there is an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests.”