Will The New Twitter Competitor From Meta Be The New Town-Square of The World?

June 13, 2023

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Meta, the parent company of Instagram, is reportedly developing a Twitter clone called "Project 92" or "Threads."

The app, showcased during an all-hands meeting, aims to provide a sanely run platform in response to users' dissatisfaction with Twitter's recent developments. Project 92 is designed to resemble Instagram's comment section and will integrate with the decentralized social media protocol ActivityPub. It will utilize Instagram's account system for user profiles. Meta's Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox, mentioned that several creators and public figures have expressed interest in a trustworthy platform for content distribution. The coding for the app began in January, and Meta aims to make it available soon.

Factors that increase Meta's chances of building successful Twitter competitor

While many social media platforms and microblogging platforms have faced challenges and ultimately failed, Meta (formerly Facebook) may have a better chance at building a successful Twitter competitor due to the following reasons:

  1. Established User Base: Meta already has a massive user base through its platforms like Facebook and Instagram, providing a strong foundation to attract users to a new offering.
  2. Resources and Expertise: Meta has the financial resources and technical expertise to develop and refine a competitive product. They have a deep understanding of user behavior and can leverage their experience in social media to create an appealing alternative.
  3. Data and Personalization: Meta's access to vast user data allows them to personalize the user experience, offering targeted content and features that align with individual preferences and interests.
  4. Integration and Cross-Platform Reach: Meta has the potential to seamlessly integrate its new Twitter competitor with its existing platforms, allowing for cross-platform engagement and increasing user convenience.
  5. Enhanced Moderation and Trust: Meta's focus on addressing disinformation, fact-checking, and promoting user safety may attract users looking for a more trustworthy and responsibly managed social media experience.

Meta may need to address user concerns, privacy issues, and differentiate its offering from existing platforms to gain traction and overcome the challenges faced by previous failed attempts. One of the interesting approaches they seem to have decided upon is to build a platform that operates sanely - in an apparent reference at how Twitter has been in the news lately in light of the Musk-led policy changes.

Popular Failed Social Media Platforms

Here are some examples of failed social media platforms or microblogging platforms, along with their launch year, shutdown year, reasons for failure, and parent companies:

  1. Google+:
    1. Launch: 2011
    2. Shutdown: 2019
    3. Reasons for Failure:
      • Lack of user engagement and adoption compared to established platforms like Facebook.
      • Privacy concerns and issues related to data security.
      • Inability to differentiate itself from existing social media platforms.
    4. Investment: Google invested an estimated $585 million in Google+.
  2. Vine:
    1. Launch: 2013
    2. Shutdown: 2017
    3. Reasons for Failure:
      • Intense competition from Instagram and Snapchat, which offered similar features.
      • Limited monetization options for content creators.
      • Difficulty in addressing and preventing inappropriate content.
    4. Parent Company: Vine was acquired by Twitter before its official launch.
  3. Friendster:
    1. Launch: 2002
    2. Shutdown: 2015 (Rebranded as a gaming site in 2011)
    3. Reasons for Failure:
      • Inability to scale and handle the rapid growth of users.
      • Technical issues and frequent site crashes.
      • Losing ground to emerging competitors like MySpace and later Facebook.
    4. Investment: Approximately $50 million was invested in Friendster.
  4. MySpace:
    1. Launch: 2003
    2. Shutdown (as a social networking site): 2013
    3. Reasons for Failure:
      • Decline in user engagement and migration to Facebook.
      • Inability to adapt to the mobile era.
      • Privacy concerns and security issues.
    4. Parent Company: MySpace was acquired by Specific Media Group and later by Time Inc.
  5. App.net:
    1. Launch: 2012
    2. Shutdown: 2017
    3. Reasons for Failure:
      • Limited user adoption and inability to attract a critical mass of users.
      • Difficulty in sustaining a viable business model.
      • Strong competition from existing social media platforms.
    4. Investment: App.net raised approximately $2.8 million in funding.

What made Twitter a popularly loved platform?

Twitter has played an irreplaceable role in making life richer and easier for its users by fostering social activism and movements, promoting influencer culture, and shaping public opinion through important trends. These three aspects have contributed to its mass adoption and solidified its position in the social media landscape.

Twitter's impact on social activism and movements has been significant. The platform has provided a space for marginalized voices to be heard, allowing activists to rally support, raise awareness, and organize collective action. Through hashtags and viral campaigns, Twitter has empowered individuals and communities to drive social change. It has served as a catalyst for movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo, enabling them to reach a broader audience and mobilize support. By amplifying diverse perspectives and facilitating global conversations, Twitter has made life richer by fostering a sense of solidarity and inspiring real-world impact.

Twitter's influencer culture has shaped the way people interact, engage, and consume content. Influencers, individuals with significant followings, have leveraged Twitter to build personal brands and connect with their audiences. They have become tastemakers, shaping trends, and driving conversations on the platform. Twitter's real-time nature allows influencers to share their thoughts, opinions, and recommendations instantly, making it easier for users to discover new ideas, products, and experiences. By providing a direct line of communication between influencers and their followers, Twitter has enriched users' lives by enabling them to access curated content and personalized insights from trusted sources.

Twitter's ability to shape public opinion through important trends has been transformative. The platform has become a hub for real-time discussions on current events, breaking news, and cultural moments. Twitter's trending topics and hashtags reflect public sentiment, highlighting the most talked-about subjects. These trends not only inform but also shape public opinion by surfacing different perspectives and fostering dialogue. By presenting a diverse range of viewpoints and facilitating engagement, Twitter has made life richer by fostering a deeper understanding of complex issues and encouraging critical thinking.

  1. Social Activism:
  2. Culture:
  3. Shaping Public Opinion:

Twitter's mass adoption can be attributed to the unique combination of these factors. The platform's role in social activism, influencer culture, and trend shaping has resonated with users seeking authentic, real-time, and inclusive experiences. Its accessibility, concise format, and open nature have made it easy for individuals to join conversations, connect with like-minded individuals, and participate in important societal discussions. Twitter's impact on public opinion and its ability to bring together communities and individuals from around the world have made it an indispensable platform in the social media landscape.

Twitter's irreplaceable position in the social media landscape is rooted in its ability to facilitate real-time engagement, empower marginalized voices, and inspire positive change in society.

What does a Twitter competitor mean for journalists, social movements and marketers?

Meta's development of a Twitter clone presents opportunities and challenges for social media marketers, journalists, and social media movements. Marketers can explore new collaborations and strategies, journalists can tap into wider audiences for news dissemination, and social movements can leverage the platform for awareness and engagement.

The success of Meta's alternative will depend on factors such as user adoption, content moderation, and its ability to differentiate itself in a competitive landscape of Twitter alternatives.

The development of Meta's Twitter clone presents an opportunity for social media marketers to diversify their strategies and reach audiences on an alternative platform. As Meta seeks to provide a "sanely run" environment, marketers can explore new avenues for collaborations and sponsored content with creators and public figures who plan to use the app. Understanding the platform's features and audience will be crucial for marketers to tailor their campaigns effectively and capitalize on the early adoption phase.

Meta's Twitter clone offers journalists an additional platform to disseminate news and engage with audiences. With its focus on real-time updates and integration with ActivityPub, journalists can leverage the app to reach wider audiences and tap into discussions on trending topics. By establishing a presence on this platform, journalists can maintain their influence and credibility while adapting to evolving social media landscapes. However, journalists should be mindful of verifying information and maintaining journalistic integrity in an environment known for its brevity and rapid information flow.

The emergence of Meta's Twitter clone provides social media movements with an alternative platform to organize, raise awareness, and mobilize support. Movements can take advantage of the app's emphasis on a sanely run environment to create meaningful conversations and engage with their communities. The integration of existing Instagram profiles and the ability to sync followers will aid movements in expanding their reach and impact. However, movements should evaluate the app's community guidelines and safety features to ensure they align with their values and objectives.

  1. For Social Media Marketers:
  2. For Journalists:
  3. For Social Media Movements:

How have Meta and Pre-Musk era Twitter managed disinformation, fact checking?

While both platforms have implemented measures to address these issues, the effectiveness and impact of their efforts have varied. Twitter has demonstrated more direct collaboration with fact-checkers and taken proactive steps in labeling and removing misleading content. In contrast, Facebook has faced criticism for its approach and limitations in empowering fact-checking teams. The history of election interference, disinformation, and content removal highlights the ongoing challenges these platforms face in combating misinformation. Ultimately, the effectiveness of Meta's fact-checking efforts will depend on their commitment to transparency, collaboration with fact-checkers, and the impact of their policies and practices in addressing disinformation.

Analysis of Disinformation and Fact Checking

Fact checkers play a vital role in combating disinformation and ensuring the accuracy of information shared on social media platforms. Over the years, there have been numerous instances where fact checkers have flagged false or misleading content, including tweets and Facebook posts. The impact of fact-checking-led penalties varies, but it has shown effectiveness in raising awareness about misinformation.

According to interviews with fact checkers, it is evident that their work is driven by a commitment to honesty and accuracy. They strive to provide an objective evaluation of information, regardless of external influences or pressures. However, the challenges faced by fact checkers are significant, as disinformation spreads rapidly, often leading to public confusion.

Prominent examples of fact checking-led penalties include Twitter's labeling and removal of tweets violating their policies. For instance, during the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Twitter labeled and restricted the sharing of false claims made by political figures. One notable example was when Twitter flagged multiple tweets from then-President Donald Trump, providing context and warning users about potentially misleading information.

Empowerment of Fact-Checking Teams

Empowering fact-checking teams is crucial for their effectiveness. While both Twitter and Facebook have implemented fact-checking programs, the level of empowerment and collaboration differs.


Twitter has a more direct approach to fact checking, collaborating with independent fact-checking organizations. These organizations work closely with Twitter's teams to identify and flag misleading information. Twitter's approach allows fact-checkers to have more influence in shaping platform policies and addressing disinformation in real-time.

Facebook, on the other hand, has faced criticism for its handling of disinformation. While the platform has partnerships with fact-checking organizations, fact checkers have expressed concerns about the lack of transparency and limited impact of their work. The influence of fact-checkers on Facebook's policies and practices has been a subject of debate.

History of Election Interference, Disinformation, and Content Removal

Both Twitter and Facebook have faced challenges regarding election interference, disinformation, and content removal. Instances of disinformation campaigns and foreign interference in elections have necessitated the removal of tweets and Facebook posts.


In recent years, Twitter has taken more proactive steps to address these issues. They have removed and labeled accounts engaged in coordinated manipulation, implemented stricter policies around election-related content, and enhanced transparency regarding political advertising.

Facebook has also faced criticism for its handling of disinformation, particularly during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The platform has since made efforts to combat misinformation, including fact-checking initiatives and collaborations with external organizations. However, concerns persist regarding the scale and impact of these efforts.

Which innovations or product feature enhancements Twitter introduced since its' inception till 2023?

Twitter has had a history of feature-led innovations or product enhancements. Here's an updated breakdown of the 30 key innovations and product enhancements introduced by Twitter, along with a comment on their success, failure, continuation, or abandonment.


































  1. Twitter Launch: Continued - Twitter has grown into a widely used social media platform with millions of active users.
  2. Retweet Feature: Success - The retweet feature has become an integral part of Twitter's functionality, enabling content amplification.
  3. Trending Topics: Success - Trending topics remain a prominent feature, providing real-time insights into popular discussions.
  4. Verified Accounts: Continued - Verified accounts continue to play a crucial role in confirming the authenticity of notable users.
  5. Twitter Lists: Continued - Twitter Lists are still actively used by users for organizing and categorizing accounts they follow.
  6. Promoted Tweets: Success - Promoted Tweets have become a significant revenue stream for Twitter, allowing advertisers to reach a wider audience.
  7. Twitter for iPhone: Success - The official Twitter app for iPhone has gained popularity and continues to evolve.
  8. New Twitter Design: Success - The redesigned interface improved user experience and has gone through subsequent updates.
  9. Twitter Analytics: Continued - Twitter Analytics remains available, offering users valuable insights into their tweet performance.
  10. Twitter Cards: Success - Twitter Cards have enhanced the visual experience of tweets, enabling richer media content.
  11. Vine: Abandoned - Twitter shut down Vine in 2017, but its impact on short-form video content and creativity remains notable.
  12. Twitter Music: Failure - Twitter Music failed to gain significant traction and was eventually discontinued in 2014.
  13. Two-Factor Authentication: Continued - Two-Factor Authentication remains an essential security feature for Twitter accounts.
  14. Buy Button: Abandoned - Twitter phased out the Buy button feature in 2017, shifting focus away from direct in-platform purchases.
  15. Twitter Ads Editor: Continued - The Twitter Ads Editor remains available, assisting advertisers in managing their campaigns.
  16. Periscope: Success - Periscope became a popular live video streaming platform, although it now operates independently from Twitter.
  17. Moments: Continued - Moments still exists, allowing users to explore curated content around specific events and topics.
  18. Twitter Live Video: Success - Live video streaming on Twitter has become a valuable feature for users, content creators, and broadcasters.
  19. Twitter Lite: Continued - Twitter Lite continues to serve users with limited internet connectivity and low data availability.
  20. Threads: Success - Threads remain a convenient way for users to create and share tweetstorms, keeping conversations organized.
  21. Bookmarks: Continued - The Bookmarks feature is still available, enabling users to save and revisit tweets at their convenience.
  22. API Changes: Continued - The stricter API rules have been effective in combating spam, bots, and abuse on the platform.
  23. Hide Replies: Continued - The ability to hide replies offers users more control over the conversations within their tweets.
  24. Fleets: Failure - Fleets did not gain significant popularity and were discontinued by Twitter in August 2021.
  25. Spaces: Continued - Spaces has gained traction and remains an active feature, allowing users to host and participate in audio conversations.
  26. Lists: Ability to follow Lists or Profiles directly, reply to Tweets within embedded timelines, interact with Tweets, view likes and replies on individual Tweets, and see original Quote Tweets
  27. Mixed Media: Share different types of visual content — videos, images, and GIFs — together in a single Tweet
  28. Twitter Blue: At $8/month on web, and $11/month for those who sign up on iOS Twitter Blue subscribers received access to subscriber-only features such as Edit Tweet, 1080p video uploads and reader mode.
  29. Open Source Code: Opening much of Twitter's source code to the global community through. [1]
  30. Twitter's Recommendation Algorithm: Three stage recommendation pipeline including Candidate sourcing, Rank, Heuristics and filters as seen on. [2]



  1. Github: twitter/the-algorithm
  2. Twitter's Recommendation Algorithm

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