Meta‘s subsidiary, Instagram, is gearing up to unveil its new text-based app, currently codenamed P92 aka Barcelona. This new development, which was previously just speculation, is now confirmed by a leaked marketing slide and details shared in Lia Haberman's ICYMI Substack newsletter. Set to potentially launch in late June, Instagram's text-based app could be a game-changer, offering users the ability to share Twitter-like updates within the Instagram ecosystem.
Technical Details of Instagrams Text-Based App
According to information shared by an anonymous creator who attended secret meetings with Meta, the app will allow users to “[sync] up with existing followers” and their “handle, bio and even verification” will carry over from their Instagram profile. The decentralized app, built on the back of Instagram, is also designed to be compatible with other applications like Mastodon.
Users can expect a centralized feed displaying content from followers and recommended content. Interestingly, the app will permit text posts of up to 500 characters – shorter than an Instagram caption, an extended tweet, or a LinkedIn post. Users can also “[attach] links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes long” and engage with the content through likes, replies, and reposts.
Creator Controls and Safety Features
Creator control and safety are clear priorities in the design of the new app. The platform will allow users to manage replies and mentions, and easily block or report spam. The user's privacy and safety settings from Instagram, including blocked accounts and selected hidden words, will automatically transfer to the new platform. Furthermore, two-factor authentication will be enabled for added security, with the existing Instagram community guidelines enforced.
Decentralization and Interoperability
One of the more intriguing aspects of the new app is its decentralization, making it compatible with certain other apps like Mastodon. Instagram users' profiles and content will be searchable, followable, and interactive on these third-party platforms if the users are public or if they have approved the third-party followers.
This feature indicates a broader trend in the industry, with tech companies like Meta exploring the use of protocols like ActivityPub for increased interoperability.
No Monetization Plans Yet
Despite the flurry of exciting features, there are currently no confirmed plans for monetization being shared. This could imply that the app may start without ads, placing an initial emphasis on organic social strategy.
The introduction of Instagram's text-based app could potentially challenge other social media platforms and further cement Instagram's place in the social media landscape. With many people seeking alternatives to Twitter's platform, Instagram's new text-based app could become the next big thing in the social media world, capitalizing on its already vast user base.