Twitter's current turmoil may lead to a rival app from Meta

Meta staff has mulled over potentially building a rival app to Twitter. But, would it work?
Christopher McFadden
Elon Musk  Mark Zuckerberg
Elon Musk Mark Zuckerberg

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A recent article in The New York Times claims that Meta is trying to make money off of Elon Musk's messy attempt to take over Twitter. According to the publisher, their plan is to potentially build a competitor application for Twitter to attempt to muscle in on the platform's unrivaled dominance.

The Times said that in November, Facebook and Instagram, employees met virtually to develop ideas for a text-based app that could compete with Twitter.

According to The Times, a Meta employee stated in a post that "Twitter is in crisis and Meta needs its mojo back."

"LET'S GO FOR THEIR BREAD AND BUTTER," they allegedly declared.

During the brainstorming session, the group of employees thought about making a separate text-focused app that might be based on Instagram's technology. The Times says that Instagram's staff also thought about adding the text-based feature to Instagram's current platform as an extra feed like Instagram Reels or to Instagram Notes.

Instagram Notes is a fresh addition to the photo-sharing app that Meta started testing over the summer and has now been made available to a small number of users. Users can now post momentary, brief text messages to "close friends" or followers who follow them back using the new feature.

The Times also claims that during the session, employees at Meta came up with names like Realtime, Real Reels, and Instant for a possible Twitter competitor.

Meta has tried to muscle in on other social media arenas before

It wouldn't be the first time Mark Zuckerberg's business has tried to imitate a different social media site. For example, after Lasso, another TikTok copy, was shut down by Facebook, Zuckerberg thought about making Meta's WhatsApp a WeChat competitor.

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Instagram has also directly challenged TikTok with Instagram Reels. The creator of Facebook has already indicated interest in Twitter. In 2008, Zuckerberg made a $500 million purchase offer for Twitter, which Twitter declined.

Twitter's current turmoil may lead to a rival app from Meta
Meta are allegedly mulling over making a rival app to Twitter.

Not only Meta, but other businesses are hoping to gain from Twitter's apparent turmoil. Mastodon and Hive, two lesser-known rivals to Twitter, have also entered the fray.

Tumblr, a microblogging platform, used the occasion to poke fun at Musk's ideas for his upcoming social media business.

There has been a great deal of ambiguity around Twitter's destiny ever since Musk decided to take the firm private in October. To this end, he fired a large portion of Twitter's management team, including its CEO, Parag Agrawal, just hours after taking over.

After calling on employees to commit to working an "extremely hardcore" schedule, the billionaire later let go of roughly half of the company's workforce, and hundreds more quit on their own. At the time of the big departure, rumors were going around online that Twitter would be more likely to have problems after losing many of its engineers.

In the weeks after Musk bought the platform, some celebrities left, and sponsors cut back or stopped advertising on the platform because they were worried about content regulation. As roughly 90 percent of Twitter's revenue came from advertising last year, the social media platform could fail without significant sponsors.

Musk has been working to lure advertisers back to the platform in the interim. Also, he has always said that the number of people using the site is at an all-time high.

The billionaire stated in a previous statement, "The best people are staying, so I'm not super worried." It is also unlikely that an upstart application would be able to challenge Twitter too much anyway.

The platform has built up a large and loyal following and is, in effect, a brand rather than a series of 1s and 0s. It ha significantant "economic moat," something that investors like Warren Buffet often preach about when buying a value stock.

For this reason, among many, Twitter will probably have a pretty bright future with or without competition from Meta or others.