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Meta working on social media platform to rival Twitter, reports say

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Facebook owner Meta is working on a new standalone "text sharing" social network application that could become a rival for Elon Musk's Twitter.

Mark Zuckerberg's Meta has revealed it is working on a new social network solely designed for sharing text updates.

The new app could become the most high-profile rival to Twitter and Mastodon. The former has been rife with chaos since Musk's aggressive takeover, with the company struggling to hold onto its advertising base amid large-scale staff layoffs and a succession of outages for the platform.

Meta's news was first reported by Money Control, citing Meta sources, with further details subsequently revealed by Platformer. Following these early reports, Meta confirmed the project.

"We're exploring a standalone decentralised social network for sharing text updates," a Meta spokesperson said. "We believe there's an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests."

The plan, codenamed P92, is still in its early stages and is being led by Instagram head Adam Mosseri, according to Platformer.

Meta's new app would be decentralised, meaning it would allow third parties to build apps and features into the platform, also making it interoperable with other platforms such as Mastodon. The nature of the platform would also allow users to ostensibly create different servers or communities, each with their own rules, similar to the way Reddit or Discord operate. 

This would be a clear break from platforms such as Instagram or YouTube, which are kept behind technological walls and operate using company servers under strict rules.

Twitter took this level of control a step further last year when it briefly banned accounts that provided links to other social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and Mastodon.

Tesla CEO and owner Musk took the reins at Twitter in November, after finally concluding the torturous saga of his $44bn (£38bn) takeover of the company.

Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has engendered widespread controversy. In the past two months alone, the new CEO has been criticised for dissolving the company’s board of directors; making significant changes to the platform’s content moderation policies, and firing half of the company’s 7,500 workers, as well as a number of additional contractors.

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