Meta to launch Twitter rival, Mastodon
Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) is exploring plans to launch a new social media app in its bid to displace Twitter as the world’s “digital town square”.
“We’re looking into creating a standalone decentralized social network for text update sharing. We believe there is a need for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely information about their interests “In an emailed statement, Zuckerberg spokesperson told reporters.
Meta’s app will be built on the same framework as Mastodon, a Twitter-like service that debuted in 2016.
A Twitter-like app would allow Zuckerberg to capitalize on the current state of chaos at Elon Musk’s company, where cost-cutting has been rampant.
Twitter has been struggling to hold on to its advertising base since Musk’s takeover of the platform late last year. Companies have pulled back spending following Twitter’s move to restore suspended accounts and release a paid account verification that resulted in scammers impersonating firms.
Zuckerberg’s plans come at a time when its biggest platform, Facebook, is struggling to attract the attention of a younger audience, while its huge investments in the Metaverse, a virtual world where users interact and work, show little signs of paying off, at least in the near term.
Its video-sharing app, Instagram, is also facing stiff competition as content makers or hit influencers abandon the platform for TikTok.
It was not immediately clear when Zuckerberg would roll out the new app.
“The history of Meta is that they are much better acquirers than they are innovators or developers … as far as copying Twitter, this is just a defensive move,” said Thomas Hayes, chairman and managing member of New York-based Great Hill Capital.
“They’re just trying everything… at least with a mini blogging site like Twitter, there’s some expectation that it could start to make money out of a much quicker timeline than the metaverse investment.”
Zuckerberg’s investments in the metaverse will not drive revenue growth until 2030, analysts have said.
Zuckerberg shares were marginally higher at $181.7 in early trade on Friday. They have gained about 51% so far this year.