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Meta is working on a decentralized social network

Published Mar 10th, 2023 4:24PM EST
A pedestrian walks in front of a new logo and the name 'Meta' on the sign in front of Facebook headquarters on October 28, 2021 in Menlo Park, California.
Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Meta, the company behind Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, is working on its own decentralized social network.

As reported by Money Control and confirmed by Meta, the company has been working on a text-based social network that will support ActivityPub, the decentralized social networking protocol used by federated social networking apps like the growingly popular Mastodon.

According to the report, the company is so far planning to release the app as an Instagram product:

The app will be Instagram-branded and will allow users to register/login to the app through their Instagram credentials, they said. Moneycontrol has seen a copy of an internal product brief that elaborates on the functioning and various product features of the app.

According to someone with knowledge of the development, “the plan as of now is that the MVP (minimum viable product) will definitely allow our users to broadcast posts to people on other servers. It may or may not enable our users to follow and view the content of people on other servers.” This indicates that the app could theoretically post content out to other decentralized platforms like Mastodon.

Another source said that “the team is also discussing whether to have the ability to reshare content like Twitter apart from business and creator accounts. A rights manager will be integrated from the beginning for first party content, but probably not for third party content from other apps and servers,” said another source.”

A Meta spokesperson responded to the story, confirming the development of the app:

“We’re exploring 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.”

The news comes about a month and a half after Tweetbot developer Tapbots launched Ivory, its new Mastodon app. Tapbots shuttered its Twitter app after the social media company effectively banned third-party Twitter clients like Tweetbot back in January.

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.