Can these emerging microblogging networks succeed?
Ever since Elon Musk became Twitter CEO and laid off thousands of employees, former Twitter employees and big tech competitors have focused on creating Twitter alternatives.
While the size of Twitter’s 556 million member audience is yet to be matched, they offer a fresh start for those unhappy with Twitter’s new policies.
Led by ex-Twitter employees and other notable names in big tech, these burgeoning microblogging networks offer new platforms for expression without fear of censorship, loss of privacy, and algorithmic control.
Let’s explore the best Twitter alternatives and their features and potential impact.
What are some new Twitter alternatives?
Spill, founded by former Twitter employees, plans to use blockchain technology to compensate content creators on the conversational platform. You can reserve your username now and will be notified when it goes live.
T2, also developed by former Twitter employees, offers Twitter users verification exams with legacy verification. (I hope you took a screenshot of your profile before the end of the old verified program.)
Supported by former Twitter manager Jack Dorsey, Bluesky was launched as an invite-only community built on top of the AT protocol for large-scale distributed social apps. The Bluesky app has been downloaded over 245,000 times.
Former Twitter employees aren’t the only ones investing in Twitter competition.
Post.news, founded by former Waze CEO Noam Bardin, connects readers to their favorite publishers with no ads or subscription fees. She Offer a free blue tick.
Substack introduced Notes that allow Substack users to post short form updates to engage with readers. These updates will appear in a Twitter-like stream in the Substack app.
Verified ticks identify Substack authors with hundreds to tens of thousands of paying subscribers.
Meta confirmed the development of Barcelona/P92, a “decentralized” platform for text updates. Some refer to it as Instagram for text.
The move comes as no surprise considering Meta has been experimenting with text-based features for Instagram, like notes and broadcast channels.
How successful are Twitter alternatives?
Mastodon, an open-source decentralized platform built on top of ActivityPub, allows users to connect with others without ads or algorithms. According to its stats page, there are over six million Mastodon users, but just over a sixth are active users as of April 2023.
It’s an impressive start for a platform that launched in November 2022.
Several microblogging sites have been developed for people who feel that their voice has been suppressed on Twitter and other major platforms for political stances.
Parler was a favorite of millions of conservatives. It was launched in 2018 and acquired by Starboard.
The new owners see “tremendous opportunities in multiple sectors to continue to serve marginalized or even outright censored communities — even beyond domestic politics.”
Gettr was launched in 2021 to support freedom of expression without political discrimination and has over seven million users in 192 countries.
Truth Social, launched in 2022 by Trump Media and Technology Group, has over five million users. Although it was also built on the premise of free speech, it also reportedly censors content.
Are Twitter alternatives worth it?
If you look at the history of social media, many social networks have a lifespan of several years.
Consider Google’s Orkut (2004-2014) and Google+ (2011-2019). Both platforms have amassed hundreds of millions of users but have not been able to keep up with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
It doesn’t matter which person or organization created the platform. Every social network was new once, but not every network was built to last.
Dive into a social network early on and you can establish yourself or your company as an authority in a less competitive environment. Even if it doesn’t stand the test of time, you might benefit from being an early adopter.
Here are a few things to note:
- Do your customers talk about it? If enough customers ask you if you’re on a certain social network, you should see why.
- Are your competitors using it? If your competitors have an engaged audience on a particular network, you should take a look.
- do you have the time for this If you have to sacrifice resources from an established, profitable channel, consider reconsidering the idea next quarter.
One of the advantages of Twitter’s up-and-coming competitors: It doesn’t take much to update your status. Unlike platforms that offer profiles, pages, groups, blogs, etc., you can establish yourself on most new networks with a profile and simple text-based updates.
If you’re looking to start dipping your toe into a new microblogging network, here’s a simple strategy:
- Group browser bookmarks and app icons for new social networks.
- Copy the next text-based update you want to share on Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
- After sharing the update, add it to your profiles on the other microblogging networks.
- Check your notifications and engage with the people who have engaged with your content.
- Participate in updates from those you follow.
As new social platforms continue to emerge, it remains to be seen if Twitter will be successfully dethroned.
However, one thing is certain: the ever-evolving social media landscape is opening up new opportunities for innovation, creativity and communication, and is pushing the boundaries of what we can expect from digital interactions in the future.
Featured image: Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock