Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is reportedly working on a new social app called “P92” that will focus on the text. According to a report from MoneyControl, the app is being developed under the codename “P92” and will be built atop the same decentralized protocol foundation as Mastodon. The project is an attempt to fill the gap for a Twitter alternative that Mastodon couldn’t quite fill.
Although Meta has confirmed the development of the app, some details sound functionally bewildering. Instagram already has a Notes feature that serves almost the same purpose as Stories, but only in a text form, and lives right at the top of the DMs section. Meta is more preoccupied with the decentralized aspect of the app instead of replicating existing product features.
P92 will be an Instagram off-shoot, and it will use the same login keychain as the photo-video sharing app. The focus of P92 will be on “sharing text updates,” as per a Meta spokesperson. Just like Mastodon, there will be some kind of server system, where your updates can be seen by contacts in other servers, but there won’t be any cross-server activity like following or account viewing allowed.
Interestingly, folks that sign up for P92 will have their Instagram follower data, and other profile details, automatically imported. However, eventually, the graph will split, and after the initial sign-up, the data sharing from Instagram to P92 will be minimal, if none, as one spokesperson told MoneyControl.
The report adds that an early version of P92 will allow features like interactive URLs in posts, displaying verification badges, usernames, and a short bio. We will pull this information from Instagram, and it will also make users aware of this cross-app data-sharing system.
Talking about the communication aspect, users will share videos and images, which again brings it closer to a regular social media platform like Instagram, but with a decentralized twist to it. Within the same server, activities like following an account or liking posts would be allowed, but there is no mention of a comments section or direct messaging facility being built for P92.
Meta wants to improve P92 by giving itself a free hand at using the Instagram data of all users—even those who haven’t signed up for the experimental decentralized app. However, this won’t be the first time that Meta has tried to cash in on a trend and then abandoned the product in its infancy. Given the state of deep restructuring and the reported shift away from metaverse towards AI, it won’t be surprising to see the P92 project getting canned before a public release.
In conclusion, P92 is Meta’s attempt at creating a decentralized social media platform that focuses solely on text. I will build the app on the same decentralized protocol foundation as Mastodon, and the early version of the app will allow features like interactive URLs in posts, displaying verification badges, usernames, and a short bio. Although there is no mention of a comments section or direct messaging facility being built for P92, users will share videos and images.
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Meta’s focus on the decentralized aspect of the app and the automatic import of Instagram follower data and other profile details for folks who sign up for P92 show that they are more preoccupied with creating something new and unique rather than replicating existing product features.
While it is unclear whether the P92 project will ever see the light of day, given the state of deep restructuring and the reported shift away from the metaverse towards AI, it is an interesting development to monitor.