Meta’s New Twitter Competitor Gets a Name, Employee Showcase: ‘A Platform That Is Sanely Run’

Per a report from The Verge, the tech giant’s chief product officer says the focuses of the upcoming app are “safety, ease of use, reliability”

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In a companywide meeting Thursday, Meta’s chief product officer Chris Cox reportedly revealed a working title for the tech giant’s new Twitter competitor and showcased a number of previously unknown production developments and priorities for the app.

According to a report from The Verge, who were given access to the video call, Cox detailed progress made in building the new social media platform, codenamed “Project 92” and tentatively titled “Threads.” He also teased that they’ve “been hearing from creators and public figures” who are interested in a platform that is “sanely run” and that they “can trust and rely upon.”

The standalone app designed to go toe-to-toe with Twitter will use Instagram account info to auto-populate user data integrating with decentralized social networking protocol ActivityPub. This means that, hypothetically, Threads accounts and their followers could travel to other platforms such as Mastodon, just one such contemporary Twitter alternative. There’s also Bluesky (backed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey). A common theme among these alternatives is their decentralized nature, meaning they’re built on publicly inspectable code and avoid giving platforms undue censorship powers over users. If the Threads ActivityPub speculative details turn out to be true, this will put one more social tool on the market wherein users are (relatively) safe from the whims and arbitrary rulings of, say, a particularly opinionated CEO.

This seems to be one of Threads’ goals. Cox reportedly called the app “our response to Twitter,” saying “we’ve been hearing from creators and public figures who are interested in having a platform that is sanely run, that they believe that they can trust and rely upon for distribution.”

That “sanely run” bit is a not-so-subtle jab at Twitter owner Elon Musk, who has openly admitted he’ll say what he wants to say no matter the consequences. Musk wasn’t just puffing his chest with that remark, either; recently, he went hard in the paint promoting a controversial Daily Wire documentary, voluntarily weighing in on a politically charged debate that most executives would opt to abstain from entirely. Even some ice cream makers don’t view Twitter as a safe place to advertise so long as Musk is making noise.

Cox noted Meta is in talks with major figures such as Oprah and the Dalai Lama to get on board with Threads. He said the app entered the coding stage in January.

Despite Cox’s jabs at Twitter and talking points about Threads angling to be sanely run and safety-minded, it’s not like Meta’s had a spotless track record in the social media sphere, either. (For example, its own Instagram currently has something of an underage sex content scandal to deal with.)