There are few things in this life that we can consistently count on. Maggie Nelson’s writing will always move us, my mom’s pancake recipe will always slap, and Meta will always try to take users from other platforms by morphing their own.
On Wednesday, just weeks after Elon Musk “let that sink in” to the Twitter headquarters, social media consultant and industry analyst Matt Navarra tweeted about Meta’s staff discussing building a new Twitter rival with a “notes” feature on Instagram, building a separate text-focused app, or adding new, Twitter-like feeds to Instagram. It’ll be called Realtime or Real Reels, or Instant which are fine names except that they all sound the same.
“Twitter is in crisis and Meta needs its mojo back,” one Meta employee wrote in a post, according to the New York Times. “LET’S GO FOR THEIR BREAD AND BUTTER.”
While things are unbelievably messy at Twitter, Meta has had its own headaches itself. It had to pause terrible changes after the Kardashians came after them and, of course, it failed to stop the spread of misinformation that rocked the foundations of democracies across the globe. But users have been ignoring those flags for years.
It’s nothing new for Meta to try to be everything to everyone. Instagram recently started to look a lot like TikTok, but bad. It pivoted to video, increased recommended posts, pushed out “Add Yours” stickers and remix abilities on Reels for Instagram and Facebook, and has overall begun prioritizing Reels, its short-form video feature designed to take over the app. Before TikTok was a threat, Instagram latched onto Snapchat’s success by launching Instagram Stories. And now, in the post-TikTok world, rumors are spreading that it’s considering taking some cues from BeReal, too.
The platform is trying to become, really, a superapp with shopping, online stores, sharing links, ordering cars, messaging with friends, and more — which, as Mashable has reported previously, sucks.