- Instagram owner Meta is exploring a new text-based app to rival Twitter
- A small band of celebrities and influencers are said to already be trialling it
Instagram could be making a move on to Twitter’s patch with plans to introduce a rival text-based app.
The platform, owned by Meta, is reportedly trialling its new model with celebrities and influencers, according to insiders.
The small group of trusted celebrities have had access to the app for months, South China Morning Post reports.
Users will be able to connect the new app to their Instagram, it is reported, although they will remain separate applications.
It could make its debut as early as June, according to marketing lecturer Lia Haberman, who shared a screenshot of an early app description.
Ms Haberman suggests the new app could eventually be used side by side with Mastodon.
‘Historically, we know Meta likes to sample and recreate features from other apps and third-party tools based on what they anticipate being popular with their users,’ she said.
Ms Haberman pointed to Twitter owner Elon Musk’s suggestion his platform could become an ‘everything app’, with a myriad of extra features besides informational posts.
She added: ‘Based on Meta’s track record borrowing from other platforms, it’s much more likely they’ll get there first by consolidating all these experiences they’re building.’
In March, Platformer first reported that Meta was looking into building a text-based app.
Elsewhere, Twitter on Thursday accused Microsoft of breaking the social network’s rules for developers who access the platform’s data, according to a copy of a letter seen by AFP.
Microsoft stopped accessing Twitter data in April, opting not to pay fees Musk demanded developers pay for APIs (application programming interfaces) that engage with the platform, according to the letter.
Twitter called on Microsoft to identify all Twitter content that has been in its control during the past two years; how it is stored and what has been done with it, according to the letter sent to Nadella.
Microsoft confirmed receiving a letter from a law firm representing Twitter with some questions about its previous use of the free Twitter API.
‘We will review these questions and respond appropriately,’ a Microsoft spokesperson said in response to an AFP inquiry.
‘We look forward to continuing our long term partnership with the company.’
Twitter said in the letter it is looking into whether Microsoft exceeded the ‘reasonable request volume’ in what could constitute ‘abusive usage.’
Twitter wants the information by June 7, the letter stated.
The demand comes as Elon Musk looks to generate revenue by getting developers to pay for Twitter platform access that had been free prior to the billionaire taking over.
Musk is also out to counter Microsoft and Google with his recently-established X.AI artificial intelligence corporation based in the US state of Nevada, according to business documents.
Musk last month fired off a Tweet accusing Microsoft of illegally using Twitter data to train artificial intelligence, writing ‘lawsuit time.’
Big tech companies like Google, Meta and Microsoft have spent years working on AI systems – previously known as machine learning or big data – to help with translations, search and targeted advertising.
Microsoft is investing billions of dollars in ChatGPT creator OpenAI and has put its technology to work in its Bing internet search service.
Since taking over Twitter in late October, Musk has repeatedly courted controversy, sacking most of its staff, readmitting far-right figures to the platform, suspending journalists and charging for previously free services.