New Twitter boss says ‘game on’ over Instagram clone rumours

Linda Yaccarino aims to transform Elon Musk’s company into an ‘everything app’

Anthony Cuthbertson
Monday 22 May 2023 11:58 BST
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Instagram is reportedly planning to launch a rival to Twitter in 2023
Instagram is reportedly planning to launch a rival to Twitter in 2023 (iStock/ Getty Images)

The incoming head of Twitter has said she is ready to take on Instagram’s rumoured rival to the text-based app.

Linda Yaccarino, who is set to take over as chief executive of the social media platform at the end of June, shared her reaction to the anticipated Twitter clone, tweeting: “Game on!”

Instagram’s parent company Meta reportedly shared details about its plan for a microblogging app with creators last week, claiming that it would be partially integrated with Instagram.

Leaked details suggest the as-yet unnamed app, codenamed P92 or Barcelona, will be decentralised and could work with Twitter’s rival Mastodon.

“We’re exploring a standalone decentralised social network for sharing text updates,” Meta said in a statement to Money Control.

“We believe there’s an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests.”

Social media consultant Matt Navarra claimed that it would launch this summer, and that Instagram’s billion-plus users around the world would be able to keep their username, followers, and verification on the new app.

He added that Meta is targetting “film and television actors, producers, writers, directors, showrunners, athletes, and comedians” to join the new platform.

Elon Musk revealed Ms Yaccarino as his successor earlier this month, saying that she will focus primarily on business operations, while he continues to oversee “product design and new technology”.

Together, they plan to transform Twitter into “the everything app”, which is expected to have similar functionality to China’s WeChat.

Stretching beyond social media, Mr Musk’s X app could support shopping, news, mobile payments, and other services like booking restaurants and ordering taxis.

“WeChat has a lot of functionality that Twitter should have,” he said during a Twitter Spaces session last year, just one month after acquiring the company in a deal worth $44 billion.

The tech billionaire has also committed to making Twitter the “digital town square”, while acting as “an accelerant” to the X app.

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