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If this is Instagram’s Twitter competitor, I’m ready to jump ship

Published May 19th, 2023 3:04PM EDT
Instagram's new text-based app
Image: Lia Haberman

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We might be really close to Instagram launching its Twitter competitor and it really has me thinking of heading back over there.

As reported by Lia Haberman in her ICYMI newsletter, we got our first look at what is expected to be Instagram’s new text-based social media app. According to Haberman, the app currently has an internal codename of “P92,” “Project 92,” or “Barcelona.” The current tagline for the product is “Instagram for your thoughts.”

Haberman reportedly got access to a creator that the company reached out to show off the upcoming app, which is rumored to launch as soon as June. According to the screenshot, the app will allow users to pull over a lot of things from Instagram like all of the people that they follow, their profile picture, their handle, their bio, and even verification.

The following features will be available at launch:

  • You can post text updates up to 500 characters (that’s less than an Instagram caption, an extended tweet, or a LinkedIn post so be concise!)
  • You can attach links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes long
  • You can engage with likes, replies, and reposts

The company is also promising for the app to be compatible with Mastodon, meaning that it is at least partially built using ActivityPub, the technology that is powering the fediverse. That’s really interesting, especially since Instagram itself isn’t even compatible with other social media apps at that level yet. Though, it is always easier to make it happen when you’re building something new as opposed to turning the cruiseliner that is Instagram.

I’ve been on and off Twitter for… as long as Twitter has been around. I’ve tried Mastodon (it’s easier to sign up now) and I’m planning to try Bluesky (hit me up with those invite codes), but it’s hard to see either of them pulling the audience and people that I’m used to interacting with or following on Twitter yet.

Instagram, however, always has all of those people, and all they would have to do is pull their audience into a new app that makes it really easy to do so. That could make things interesting. Maybe Instagram will be the Twitter killer after all. I’m surely willing to give it a go.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.

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