- Step aside, Twitter and Mastodon? Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, is planning to build a standalone text-based app that integrates with ActivityPub, an open, decentralized social networking protocol that controls notifications and content. This could potentially rival Twitter and Mastodon.
- Marketing goldmine, or landmine? Smaller social media apps like Mastodon and Post.news, which foster a decentralized, ad-free platform, could pose challenges for marketers since they don't allow personalized content or ads.
- Meet P92, eventually. Meta's new social media app is still in the development stage and has been codenamed P92.
Remember that whole social media thing? You know, before generative artificial intelligence took over our brains last fall?
Well, the big social media platforms are still out there. Really out there, in some cases. Smaller ones have emerged, and emerged again. And the bigger ones are contemplating creating smaller spinoffs.
The latest: Meta, owners of Facebook and Instagram, wants to build a standalone, text-based app that integrates with ActivityPub, the open, decentralized social networking protocol that delivers APIs for content management and federated server-to-server content management that controls notifications and content. Moneycontrol first reported this news March 10.
Twitter rival? Mastodon rival? Maybe so.
This development means more questions for marketers and customer experience professionals. Particularly, this: will we be able to build true marketing content real estate and valuable customer experiences on these new rising social media apps?
The news comes as Facebook March 14 announced another round of layoffs — 10,000 employees.
Marketer- and Customer Experience-Friendly Social Media Apps?
Here's the biggest problem with some of these new apps. They're not exactly marketer-friendly. The point of Mastodon, for instance, is to foster a decentralized, open-source social media platform that has no ads and presents posts in chronological order rather than using an algorithm to predict best-matched content. The site describes itself as a federated network.
Wait, no ads? No personalized content? What is a marketer — and a brand — to do?
Meanwhile, the vision for another new social media app, Post.news, is to be a “virtual watercooler for journalists.” The model: access premium news content without subscriptions or ads where writers share their articles on the site under a paywall. Marketers, advertisers and brands will be limited to posting relevant, informative or entertaining content, rather than running advertisements or posting promotional material.
So that's good, but not quite marketing nirvana, right?
Related Article: What Social Media Trends to Expect for 2023
What We Know About Meta's Potential Social Media App
Will marketers and customer experience professionals be able to get more pieces of the Meta social media innovation pie? Outside of, of course, the tried and true Facebook and Instagram?
It's early to tell. News of the possible new social media app from Meta — said to be a Twitter rival — came out just over the past few days. Here's what we do know so far:
- Meta's confirmed the development. "We’re exploring a standalone decentralized social network for sharing text updates. We believe there’s an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests," a Meta spokesperson said in a statement.
- It has a name. The project for this new social media app is codenamed P92, though sources told Moneycontrol it's still in the idea stage and a work in progress. So it's entirely unclear how far along it is on the development trail.
- It may give users ability to share across servers. A source told Moneycontrol the Meta new social app would give users the ability to post to other servers. With Mastodon, you have to pick a server. What are servers related to decentralized social platforms? Mastodon servers, also called "instances," are individual communities, each with its own rules and culture. A server can be owned by a person, a group or a professional organization, and the server owner is the one who dictates the community’s guidelines. (Imagine trying to crack some marketing eggs over that).
- Preview, followers and likes. Sound familiar? This new app would have features like tappable links in posts with previews, user bio, username and verification badges, according to Moneycontrol. Comments and messages? Not clear yet. A source did tell Moneycontrol, "The team is also discussing whether to have the ability to reshare content like Twitter apart from business and creator accounts. A rights manager will be integrated from the beginning for first party content, but probably not for third party content from other apps and servers,” said another source.
Related Article: Deciding on the Best Social Media Platforms for Customer Connection
With No Hard Plans for Meta, Focus on Content
The ultimate message with this latest social media development out of Meta for marketers and customer experience professionals? It's hard to take any action on Meta's plans since, for now, they are just that: plans. Nothing concrete.
Social media marketing will always be about what your customers and prospects think it is, and where they are, not you or your brand.
"Plan for more exploration of how to repurpose content, as no single format or platform will serve every moment or need," CMSWire author Pierre DeBois wrote in an article on his social media vision for 2023: "Marketers should also plan campaign labels to compare channel lift and ROI. Doing so will deepen understanding what intent data streams are created from the video campaigns and events."