This is a surprise announcement made by Meta, the group that owns the social networks Facebook and Instagram, in particular, on Friday evening: in a dedicated platformer newsletter, Meta announced that it was creating “an autonomous decentralized social network for real-time text exchange. “.
“We believe there is an opportunity for a separate space where content creators and public figures can share posts on topics of interest to them,” reads a letter sent by Meta to Platformer. Reading these lines, it seems to us that we recognize the description of another well-known social network that is experiencing an existential crisis: Twitter.
The takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk has led to some deviations and, above all, serious doubts about its sustainability. Tesla’s boss laid off more than half of the company’s payroll, made controversial decisions such as restricting certain features to paid accounts and reinstating suspended accounts, and technical glitches have been mounting for weeks. So many signals that could make the “microblogging” market fertile ground for Meta.
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But Mark Zuckerberg’s business vision has several unexpected aspects for a project coming from GAFA, the giants of Silicon Valley: the social network that the group operates on will be decentralized and functional.
Network based on several independent servers
What does it mean ? Decentralization means that the network is not controlled by a single entity, but is based on multiple servers owned by multiple people or organizations. In this, the new social network will be closer to Mastodon, Twitter’s rival, interest in which has skyrocketed since Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter. By interacting, this would mean that this new social network could communicate with others, and in particular with Mastodon.
Either way, it will be a really new approach for Meta, known for building a highly centralized architecture with Facebook, which has often been challenged for its handling of users’ personal data. It would also be against the policy of Twitter, which launched an initiative last December to hide any link to another social network.
Instagram leader at the head of this P92 project
So far, according to Platformer, work on this social network is in its infancy. The day before, another American site mentioned a project codenamed P92. A few clues suggest it will be closer to Instagram than Facebook: Instagram director Adam Mosseri is spearheading the project. And this new app, although independent, will let you log in with your Instagram credentials – the app itself has added some text to its interface with “notes” you can leave on your profile.
At the moment, the release date has not been determined. The places partially vacated by Twitter are attracting attention: A few days ago, Twitter founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey launched a “beta version” of his new social network BlueSky, also decentralized, which resembles Twitter in every way.