How to get over Twitter and live your best social media life
Twitter is much like that ex you keep going back to even though they constantly disappoint you. We all love the platform, or at least did at one point, but are we now perusing the app more out of habit? When you take a step back and look at it, we can't deny that it has its flaws. The character limit, the glitches, the trolls – it’s all getting a bit overwhelming and frustrating. As Elon Musk continues to alienate many on the platform, users are flocking in their numbers to seek an alternative. Fortunately, there are a few Twitter substitutes out there that are worth checking out. Let's take a look at some of the most promising options… Bluesky
Bluesky is a decentralized platform (meaning not all elements are controlled by the tech company itself, there is an element of user ownership involved) that originated from an independent project funded by Twitter back when Jack Dorsey was CEO. The platform is being developed by a team of experts in decentralised systems and social media, including Jack Dorsey himself, who sits on the board.
Bluesky looks and sounds like Twitter. Users can post short messages and pictures, building up a following along the way, and the tone is playful with posts being given the name “skeets”, a clever portmanteau of “sky” and “tweet”. Currently in beta mode, and available to join via invitation-only, Bluesky has around 50,000 users right now. It’s getting a lot more attention beyond its user baser however, with visits to the desktop and mobile app rising to around 1.5 million globally in April 2023.
The past month has seen the platform rapidly gain traction amongst famous names such as model Chrissy Teigen and US Politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and it seems like everyone wants in on the action, with current users being inundated with invitation requests which users are able to share one per week. Considering it’s almost an exact copy of early Twitter, Bluesky certainly feels like a promising replacement. T2
Anyone else think of the greatest of the Terminator films at the mention of this? In this case however, T2 is another social media alternative aiming to recreate the good ol’ days of pre-Musk Twitter. This option is founded by two former Twitter employees, Sarah Oh and Gabor Cselle. Not trying to reinvent the wheel, the founders have made it clear that they wish to create a Twitter clone with some simplifications, rather than a completely different experience (unlike the vastly differing nature of the Terminator in the classic sequel!). However, T2 does also offer some unique features, such as the ability to divide followers into categories like friends, family, or co-workers. By creating circles it enables a more personable experience where users can share their content with only particular groups of people. Like a daily forecast, another unique feature is that users can share their current mood with their followers.
The big thing to note however, is that T2 is offering verification badges to those who lost theirs on Twitter. This could be seen as a desperate move, but it just might work given how the move by Musk ruffled more than a few feathers.
If you're looking for a more community-focused social media experience, Mastodon might be for you. Created in 2016 as one of the first alternatives to Twitter, it's a decentralized platform that operates as a collection of interconnected communities, or "instances." Each instance has its own rules, moderators, and themes, so you can find one that matches your interests and values.
Mastodon's interface and functionality are similar to Twitter, with users being able to post short messages, or "toots," (once again, we are urging brands to hire a Scottish dialect translator!). However, Mastodon has some unique features, such as the ability to post longer messages, add content warnings to posts, and create custom emojis for each instance.
Mastodon has gained a loyal following of users who appreciate its commitment to open-source and decentralized principles. However, it hasn't achieved the same level of mainstream popularity as Twitter, which may be due to its more niche appeal and community run structure. Also on the plus side, Mastodon's mascot is a woolly mammoth, which is objectively cool.
No, this isn't a social media platform exclusively for fans of Lionel Messi and his former club, or Antoni Gaudí. This is Meta’s newest offering in the decentralized social network space, which is said to be designed to appeal to disgruntled Twitter users. Barcelona - or ‘P92’ as it’s also code-named - is describing itself as an “Instagram for your thoughts” and is a text-based feed of posts, aiming to tap into the rising popularity of private messaging. There’s still very little known about the platform, but here’s what we do know so far:
- Barcelona will be a stand-alone app but will use your Instagram credentials to log in.
- The text posts will have a maximum length of 500 characters.
- Barcelona will be decentralized, although it’s not entirely sure what this means in a Meta context yet.
Arguably already the king of the social media and micro-blogging space, Meta is arguably in a better position than others to be able to build the next big thing that will see adoption in scale. Spill
Finally, we have Spill, founded by – you guessed it - more former Twitter employees. Alphonzo "Phonz" Terrell, former Global Head of Social & Editorial at Twitter and DeVaris Brown, former Product Lead Manager at Twitter, revealed the new platform in a series of tweets in December 2022 and saw 20,000 reservations for handles within 12 hours of its announcement.
In the same way that Twitter users post Tweets, Spill users will be invited to share their own "spills" on its news feed, taken from the phrase “spill the tea.” The app will also include a feature called "tea parties" where users can gather online or in real life to connect and earn in-app bonuses as a result.
Spill aims to offer a fresh approach to social media, with improved moderation and user support through "large language model AI". It will also use blockchain technology to track posts which go viral, and credit and reward the creators behind them, and is looking into partnerships with major entertainment brands according to the platform’s website. The platform is described by its creators as “a real-time conversational platform that puts culture first.” They have said that while the app will be for everyone, it will be catered to cultured drivers who are routinely overlooked and undercompensated, namely Black female and queer creators. At the time of writing, Spill has yet to launch, expecting to do so this quarter. However, you can join the waitlist and reserve your preferred handle on the website now.
Ready to get back on the apps yet? So, there you have it – five Twitter alternatives that offer something the same, but different. Whether you're looking for a platform that values privacy, community, or giving you the credit that you deserve, there's an option out there (or on its way) for you. And who knows, maybe soon you'll be able to ditch Twitter, and your no-good ex, for good.
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