Instagram's text-based app might make Twitter users jump ship

A look at Instagram's in-progress Twitter competitor.
(Image credit: ICYMI)

What you need to know

  • Instagram is allegedly working on a new text-based app that could rival Twitter.
  • The new app will keep a user's Instagram log-in information, handle, bio, followers, and more should they choose to use it.
  • Posts will have a 500-character limit with familiar liking, replying, and even reposting options.
  • Users may see Instagram's new app launch in late June.

There's been quite a bit of news swirling around Twitter recently, and for some, the changes have pushed them to the brink of migrating to other platforms. With people searching for alternatives, Lia Haberman posted a detailed look at Instagram's text-based app on her ICYMI Substack newsletter, which could launch with Twitter in its crosshairs (via The Verge).

Apparently, the information gained has come from a creator who was selected among others to privately meet with Meta about "Project 92," which is the app's internal codename.

While the app doesn't have a more flashy name just yet, what's known is that it will feature a "centralized feed" showing content from your followers alongside some recommendations. Posts on this new social networking app can be up to 500 characters in length. This is quite far from Twitter's 10,000-character limit on longer tweets, but that is something only Twitter Blue subscribers can get in on.

Users will be able to throw in photos and links, but videos are capped in length at five minutes. Post interactions include liking, replying, and reposting.

For those who have built a following on what would be Instagram's "main app," the creator told Haberman the new app would take a user's already existing Instagram log-in and password. Users and creators can sync their existing followers from the main Instagram app along with their handle, bio, and verification mark.

On an interesting note, users on other apps can search, follow, and interact with your profile. On the backend, it appears as though the new text-based app is built from the bones of Instagram but includes compatibility with other apps such as Mastodon (a place some Twitter users migrated to last year).

Like all social media apps, there comes a certain dosage of content moderation and user safety. Haberman states users will have control over replies and mentions with tools to easily block and report spam. Two-factor authentification will be enabled, and the same community guidelines present on Instagram will carry over to this upcoming version, as well. Blocked accounts and hidden words users have set on the main Instagram app will still apply to its in-progress app.

Nothing is set in stone, although it's been floated that Meta will look to launch this new Instagram app in late June 2023. There also don't appear to be any monetization plans for the app at the moment, leaving Haberman to speculate users may not see ads on this new platform when it launches.

Twitter has had a, for lack of a better word, "interesting" run these past few months. Since Elon Musk's takeover, he's implemented sharper subscription-based monetization of Twitter Blue while also trying to introduce a more "hardcore" Twitter environment to the company's employees.

However, just recently, Elon Musk stepped down as Twitter's CEO in favor of bringing in Linda Yaccarino from NBCUniversal. The changes done to Twitter, from a user's perspective, have left a sour taste in their mouths. If Instagram is preparing to launch a new app that may rival Twitter within the next month, it'll be worthwhile seeing what impact it makes and if it'll be enough to make users make the switch.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.