Last updated: July 6th, 2023
Twitter rules, or it used to.
I’m addicted to it, but once Elon bought it, it’s been fracturing big time.
And like humans on the internet do, they’ve been making alternatives to try to build up that community again – somewhere else. I love a community and especially an internet one so I’ve been jumping on these as quickly as possible and you can too. They may never turn into anything but I’m one of those tech people who likes to get into things early to at least secure my name, so hope this helps others too.
Twitter alternatives are…
The largest so far is Mastodon. Large pluses to being part of it, is that it’s decentralized so you can set yourself up to not be connected to the root – directly. Meaning you’re on your own island but still can talk to the rest of the world. Alternately you join an island, like I have.
I’ve set myself up on the SEOCommunity island and it’s a lovely spot but that’s my preference. I know the mods (and am one!) so I know it’s going to be taken care of. The downsides to Mastodon I’ve found is you’re spoiled with choice and that can be overwhelming to start, and it gets confusing as there are lots of new terms and concepts.
As well I’ve heard a lot of stories that if you do set yourself up on an island run by people who are not nice, that can be horrible and is something you’ll have to think about if/when joining a Mastodon community.
Remember Jack Dorsey, of Twitter co-founder fame? He started Bluesky and has been building it up to also be decentralized, but they’re not quite there yet. There’s 1 server, and it’s in beta as well as there’s a staging server so lots of moving pieces here.
Also it’s a much better experience on the app + they have an ANDROID app which I’m so psyched for as so many of these services rocked an iOS app and I live in Android land.
It’s been slow going and you get 1 invite code every 2 weeks so new humans join and have to get the feeling of this new community which is definitely not Twitter (in a great way). I’ve found the users on Bluesky are smart and this is not their first rodeo, nor their second so they jump past a lot of the intros and dive into layers of memes – it’s one I’m learning from.
Literally called Twitter Two. Started by Gabor Cselle, who has an impressive background between Twitter, Google and 4 exits – so far. It’s really early stages but Gabor has been giving out invites on his Twitter so if you’d like to join follow him and join.
What I really enjoy about it, is it links your Twitter as a seperate link, shares when you joined and follows the people you joined with – a great immediate connection of community. Also shows you what # you were when you joined (I’m 1351!) and you can immediately sign up for verification which I’ll probably have by the time you’re reading it. Just requires a 15 minute chat with their co-founder Sarah.
Not a full Twitter clone but Subtack aren’t messing around. They’ve added a section within their platform that they’re calling “notes” that has a Twitter feel to it. Also you can share links to your Substack Newsletter in there, something that Twitter turned off for a while so I don’t blame them for making their own.
The updates on “notes” so far seem to be mostly Substack related and not as much community building but I’m glad they took Twitter banning links to Substack seriously and made notes available for sharing updates there.
Internet Musings, my newsletter lives there now after Revue got shut down, so if you’re looking for random emails on the state of the web – please subscribe!
Pitched to the web as the place where all the journalists + publications went, Post News allows for publishers to be listed as publishers and has made some really nice interface decisions on reading content there and consuming it instead of just jumping to the next “tweet” or message in your timeline.
They also run on a points system so you’re given a certain # of points and consuming full articles costs a certain amount of points, then you can purchase more. It’s a nice concept they’re trying and I commend them on it. I love news and really wish journalism and publishers had more respect on the web so I’m on Post.news and I support them!
It’s early but their onboarding process was great.
They’re jumping into making their own Twitter clone. As their business decisions are mostly, what they can steal from smaller companies/what’s working at this point. Here’s a great article from Casey Newton on Substack that goes into much more detail.
The internet is at a very fragmented place right now.
The larger islands of FAANG have faltered, are losing users, have become governments of themselves, and smaller players are out there building their own islands.
All this makes content distribution a whole new world too.
It’s going to be big waves in this version of the internet, and we’re going to have to learn to surf in all new waters.