Elon Musk’s purchase and overhaul of Twitter has spooked some users and advertisers alike, triggering a digital succession crisis as an array of networks compete for fleeing users who have yet to settle on a single platform that could become one of the next big internet forums.
The Key Facts
Threads. Meta’s long awaited Twitter rival is slated to launch Thursday and appears to share many features like ability to like, share, post and repost content. A key selling point will be its deep integration with Meta’s photo sharing app Instagram, and screenshots suggest users will be able to keep their usernames and easily follow the same accounts on Threads.
Bluesky. This invite-only app was founded inside Twitter in 2019 by the platform’s cofounder Jack Dorsey and was spun off in 2021, and has attracted famous users like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and model Chrissy Teigen. This app takes a more decentralized approach towards social media, giving users greater control over what they see and their personal data. It looks similar to Twitter, and it has many of its features. However, at the moment, it doesn’t support live streaming, video, or direct messages.
Post News. Post News was created by Noam Barrdin, former Waze CEO and with the backing of Andreessen Horowitz. It rushed in to capitalise on the Musk-induced turmoil at Twitter. November. The platform is marketed as a way to think about how publishers can make money through social media. It has many high-profile publishers as members, though it’s still in testing.
Mastodon. Mastodon was released in 2016 and is among the oldest, most popular Twitter alternatives. It’s open source and functions similarly to Twitter (users “toot” instead of “tweet”) and had an influx of new users when Musk took over Twitter. Instead of a single platform, Mastodon is a network of social networks that are linked. Each of these can decide its own rules and policies. Mastodon, unlike many popular social networks, is nonprofit.
Spill. This competitor was designed by former Twitter engineers in December and is free to use for everyone. However, it is focused on creating a safe environment for the marginalized, particularly Black and LGBTQ+ communities. Spill was designed to be visually more engaging than any other platform and includes tools which allow users to easily combine images, GIFs, and videos with text. It drew a surge of interest after Twitter’s recent decision to limit the number of posts users can see.
Hive. The app, which is only available on mobile devices, was released in 2019, but it generated quite a buzz after Musk became the CEO of Twitter. The app has many similar features, such as following users and uploading content. Hive is a platform that claims not to use the same algorithms as other platforms. It also shows content in chronological order on its main channel.
Spoutible. It was created in February from Bot Sentinel; a Twitter analysis tool used to track harmful or false accounts. It describes itself as a “safe, inclusive, and enjoyable online space” that has a “zero-tolerance policy for targeted harassment, hate speech, disinformation, and platform manipulation.”
The Key Background
Twitter is facing challenges since Elon Musk bought the company last year for $44 Billion. The billionaire Tesla CEO has slashed headcount, reinstated banned accounts, eased moderation policies, fundamentally altered the platform’s verification rules and changed the algorithms determining what users see on their timelines, moves that have spooked many advertisers and sent users in search of alternatives. Each fresh hiccup at Twitter—such as the decision to throttle how many tweets users can see per day last weekend—has pushed some users into the arms of its rivals, such as Mastodon, which has been reporting regular spikes of new users in line with each new issue at Twitter. Though the exodus has likely benefited Twitter’s competitors, no one platform has yet emerged as a genuine threat to Musk’s firm in terms of numbers and popularity. Musk hasAccording to recent reports, Twitter’s usage is still high. Major advertisers are returning.
What To Look Out For
Many of Twitter’s bigger rivals can probably be classified somewhere between an upstart vying for its users or an established platform that has historically had a rather niche appeal. The upcoming release of Meta’s product is a development to watch, however, and will be being monitored closely by those at Twitter. Compared with other platforms fighting for Twitter’s users, Meta comes to the race armed with an already-established and immensely popular social network and gargantuan pile of resources to draw upon. Meta, which was born out of Facebook has also a long, but not always successful history of stealing features from its competitors. Its short-form videos (which are based on TikTok), its community chats, which is derived from Discord and Stories, a disappearing photo and video feature (which comes from Snapchat) all come from this company.
Meta’s Twitter Rival Threads Will Launch Thursday As Chaos Continues On Elon Musk’s Platform (SME)
Former employees of Twitter have created Spill to provide an alternative. (TechCrunch).
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