Facebook parent Meta Platforms META 0.37%increase; green up pointing triangle unveiled to employees a stand-alone app it plans to launch through Instagram to compete with Twitter, according to people familiar with the matter.
The app was demonstrated during an all-hands meeting Thursday with Meta META 0.37%increase; green up pointing triangle workers by Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, who called it Meta’s response to Twitter, the people said.
Cox told employees that Meta has heard from creators and public figures who want “a sanely run” platform. The company is in talks to have people such as Oprah Winfrey and the Dalai Lama commit to using the app, Cox said, adding that Meta hopes to launch it “as soon as we can.” The app is internally code-named Project 92, a person familiar with the software said.
Meta Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg spoke at the meeting, sharing his thoughts on Apple’s newly unveiled $3,500 Vision Pro headset with employees. Zuckerberg said the good news is that Apple didn’t present any “magical solutions…to any of the constraints on laws and physics that our teams haven’t already explored and thought of,” according to people familiar with the meeting.
Zuckerberg’s comments come a week after Meta announced the Quest 3, the latest edition of the company’s computing headset. The device is expected to go on sale this fall and start at $499.
Zuckerberg pointed out that Apple went with higher-resolution displays for its headset, resulting in a device that costs seven times as much as Meta’s coming Quest 3 headset. Zuckerberg noted that the Vision Pro uses an external battery pack, adding that every demo that Apple showed was of a person sitting on a couch, rather than being active, the people familiar with the meeting said.
“Their announcement really showcases the difference in the values and the vision that our companies bring to this in a way that I think is really important,” Zuckerberg said, according to the people. “We innovate to make sure that our products are as accessible and affordable to everyone as possible.”
The Verge, a tech-news site, earlier reported on the coming app and Zuckerberg’s comments.
Additionally, Zuckerberg made a number of announcements regarding Meta’s efforts with generative AI, according to the company. Generative AI is the term used to describe AI systems capable of generating text, images or other types of content, including large language models used for chatbots or to write essays in humanlike ways.
Those initiatives include LLM-based AI “agents” with unique personas or skills for Messenger and WhatsApp and a photo-generation feature that will allow Instagram users to modify their photos using text prompts and then share them in Instagram Stories. Zuckerberg also shared some internal-only generative AI efforts geared toward employees, including one called Metamate, which is a productivity assistant that pulls information from internal sources to perform tasks at employees’ request, Meta said in a statement.
“In the last year, we’ve seen some really incredible breakthroughs—qualitative breakthroughs—on generative AI and that gives us the opportunity to now go take that technology, push it forward, and build it into every single one of our products,” Zuckerberg said at the meeting, according to Meta.
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Appeared in the June 9, 2023, print edition as 'Meta Unveils to Staff App Targeting Twitter'.