It’s no secret that Twitter’s world has been turned upside down ever since Elon Musk took over the reins. Thousands of Twitter staff have been let go, and Musk wasn’t shy in terminating several executives as well. In the process, Musk has tried a variety of changes at Twitter, most of which have been unproductive. So, perhaps it’s not surprising that the sharks have begun circling around the chaos. Despite the $44 billion purchase of Twitter less than two months ago, other social media platforms have seen significant gains. Each are jockeying one another to be Twitter’s replacement. And it seems Meta’s plans include similar aspirations.
Of course, this is not the first time Meta has tried to usurp the success of another company. It’s also not likely to be the last. Formerly known as Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg invested in the name change to Meta anticipating the boom of the metaverse. But thus far, investments have yet to pay off, and Meta has gone through a series of missteps as of late. Therefore, while Meta’s future plans may include competing with Twitter, there’s no guarantee this will succeed. Meta will face not only significant hurdles in dealing with Twitter but in competing with others for Twitter’s replacement. But one can never count Meta out, particularly given the resources they have at their disposal.
“Twitter is in crisis and Meta needs its mojo back.” – Meta employee
Meta’s Plans for the Next Twitter
In recent weeks, it was reported that Meta held a brainstorming session among some of its savvier staff. The purpose of the meeting was to determine how Meta might become Twitter’s replacement. Given the turmoil instigated by Musk, most believed a serious opportunity existed in this regard. And given the fact that Meta was suffering from notable declines in ad revenues and users, the idea made sense. Plus, it’s not the first time Meta had considered such a strategy. One only needs to examine previous reactions to Snapchat and TikTok to appreciate this has become Meta’s go-to approach. From Meta’s perspective, leveraging existing status and resources to compete with proven successes is much easier than generating new models.
With that in mind, the Meta team supposedly considered a few different options. One involved creating an add-on to its Instagram platform called Instagram Notes. This platform would allow users to add or post short messages for others to read. Another thought was to create a separate text-focused app that would then feed into Instagram. A number of names were offered for the application including Realtime, Real Reels and Instant. At this point, it’s not clear what Meta’s future plans are in terms of these options. But it clearly shows that Meta is quite interested in becoming Twitter’s replacement in an effort to overcome recent setbacks.
“The toxicity that surrounds Twitter and some of the behavior of the new ownership led me to believe there’s an enormous opportunity for a microblogging platform with a different business model.” – Scott Galloway, Marketing Professor, New York University
Competition for Being Twitter’s Replacement
Amidst the shake-up at Twitter, other social media companies are also contemplating their own future. In only a few weeks, many have seen a significant growth in their active users. For example, Mastodon, a crowdfunded, federated platform, has enjoyed a 33% boost in active users. Another site, Have Social, doubled its user to 1.8 million. And even Tumblr, a microblogging site, had a 62% increase in app downloads from Apple. Based on this, it’s evident Meta is not the only one setting its sights on being Twitter’s replacement. Any or all of these companies may very well put a wrench in Meta’s plans.
In addition to these existing social media rivals, some other interesting developments have been reported. With aspirations of being Twitter’s replacement, former CEO Noam Bardin just launched a news sharing site named Post. In a short time, Post already has 67,000 active users with another 350,000 on the waiting list. Likewise, a prior Twitter production manager is also looking to compete with Meta’s future plans. Gabor Cselle has begun trying to construct a simplistic version of Twitter in the near future. He already has received support from other ex-Twitter employees and hopes to create a safer and more trustworthy site. Without a doubt, Meta has some competition.
“Twitter is going through a lot of changes with the new leadership. The timing of it is kind of impeccable. Everything lined up for us.” – Raluca Pop, Founder of Have Social
Overcoming Recent Missteps
One of the key drivers for Meta’s future plans related to Twitter likely involves the company’s own setbacks. This past year, the number of active users has declined for Facebook, and TikTok remains dominant over Instagram and Reels. Meta recently laid off thousands of employees and has a hiring freeze in place hoping cost-cutting will increase success. And in most recent news, Meta launched Galactica, an AI-driven large language model designed to help scientists and students. In essence, Galactica screens over 48 million articles, texts, websites and lectures while summarizing its findings. Unfortunately, Meta found itself shutting the model down after three days because of all the criticisms.
Understanding this, Meta likely hopes the chance to be Twitter’s replacement might be just what it needs to turn things around. With the metaverse not advancing as quickly as it would like, Meta’s plans have to include other measures. Becoming Twitter’s replacement is a quick and potentially simple solution in this regard. But while Meta would like to fill whatever void Musk has created, it may not have the chance. Competition is fierce, and you can never count Musk out when it comes to eventual success. Certainly, however, it’s worth the effort, and Meta seems to be investing resources in that direction.