The Ultimate Guide To Planning Your Twitter Exodus Strategy
It seems as though Twitter alternatives have been multiplying lately.
What is your favorite substitute? And how can you know if you don’t know what the choices are?
First, I don’t think we need next Twitter. Every social media app will be one of a kind, and carry its own flavor. There is simply no need to make a copy of Twitter anyway. Instead developers should focus on creating an alternative experience. Being distinct is what will give growing audience a reason to use it.
As one of the programmers for what you might say is a Twitter alternative app (Ghost Together), I wrote this article to compare other social media apps, just to see what kind of fish there are in the pond.
While doing research, I decided to make a list of Twitter alternatives, so we can see fragmentation of most recent social media apps, what they’re all about, and my experience with each.
Mastodon is a Twitter alternative with focus on user-moderated content and privacy. It’s an open-source social media platform started in 2016. Mastodon was originally created by a German developer Eugen Rochko, as a side-project. Through peaks and valleys it has been gaining sign ups over the course of its existence.
Mastodon has been gaining a lot of users in the wake of Elon Musk’s Twitter aquisition. Technically it is not really owned by anyone, as it allows you to create your own instance of the platform, which would be owned and moderated by that person.
How can this app become better? Not sure yet, haven’t used enough to see its key points. (will update this part later.) From what I heard so far, the Mastodon official mobile app still needs a lot of work, but it’s been improving over time.
Due to its fragmented nature (communities created around custom servers,) Twitter’s mass outreach still topples that of Mastodon, and it’s what makes both apps experience have a different feel to it. But there are prons, cons and benefits to each.
Ghost Together is an early-stage social media start up, currently running as a webapp. Ghost Messenger is virtually unknown right now, but its webapp UX is something you really need to see.
You will not find neither likes nor retweets on Ghost.
Ghost Together, also known as Ghost Messenger, or simply Ghost is a Twitter alternative that takes the best of Twitter’s UX and repurposes it for a unique experience. At first you might think Ghost platform is missing likes or retweets! But it’s a feature, not a bug:
What is its primary purpose? On other social media apps like Twitter, influencers with large number of followers often don’t get their tweets seen by them. Ghost is trying to solve that problem by drawing all focus on being seen whoever you are.
How can this app become better? There is no workable native Android or iPhone app yet. The best experience you’ll get is via the webapp, which is constantly improving but currently does have some noticable flaws.
Counter Social bears close resemblance to TweetDeck UI. The platform is mindful of news reliability (factlayer), and filter uploaded content for deepfakes using AI algorithms. They seem to focus on blocking bots and trolls (botsentinel), and even claim that they block entire countries.
As a Twitter alternative, Counter Social definitely has a unique flavor to it. It’s a good platform for discussing news and current events without having to worry whether the narrative is not factual, at least to the best of CS’s ability to monitor all kinds of fakery. To read more about their approach to social media, you can find it out from their own FAQ.
What is its primary purpose? Repellant to fake news, and bots. Notably limits character limit on posts to 500 characters. You can upload and share media and polls. Offers extended features to pro accounts.
Parler AKA “conservative social media platform” is a politically charged Twitter alternative, which leans more toward republican agenda. It has been aquired by controversial rapper Kanye West in October 2022.
Parler has both native Android and iOS apps you can get from Google Play Store and iTunes Store respectively.
What is its primary purpose? You’ll find ESPN sports stories here, and news mostly from conservative point of view. Some people might feel at home here. From technical standpoint, it’s a well-designed app for sure, among other Twitter alternatives that have been reviewed so far.
Cohost is a social network alternative to Twitter that lets you share anything you want. Its UI looks similar to Tumblr. There are no ads on Cohost, at least currently. As an early stage webapp, you probably won’t find much activity here yet (as of November 2022, when this review was written.) But you can set up an account and look around.
Cohost’s slogan is Posting, but better. It is a new social media platform built from the ground up by a small team of developers and designers who like sharing things on the internet.
What is its primary purpose? Civilized experience with finding new things, selling your stuff, and getting your input on things.
How can this app become better? Cohost is still in very early stages and don’t have many users. It does look promising, however. We’ll just need to give the developers a bit more time. It has a friendly theme and honors chronological timeline vs algorithm mess.
You can read Cohost Anti-Software Software Manifesto to learn more about their values.
WT Social , also known as WikiTribune Social is a microblogging social network app, where users contribute to “subwikis”. It was created by cofounder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales as an alternative to Twitter and Facebook with a fresh take on posting evidence-based news.
According to Jimmy, Twitter is clickbait nonsense.
Unlike Mastodon, WT runs on proprietary software, so it’s not open source at least at this point. It has been stated though that they are looking into ActivityPub and the code would be released under GPLv3 license.
What is its primary purpose? WT Tribune Social makes an attempt to combat fake news, and basically stray away from “clickbait nonsense” it claims Twitter has become. WT hopes to achieve this by offering evidence-based news with links to reliable sources.
Users can edit and label misleading links.
Raftr is a Twitter alternative for college, and it’s best described by its Founder and CEO, Sue Decker. We built Raftr to be the communications and content sharing platform we wish existed on campuses — it shouldn’t be difficult for students to find people with shared interests or to communicate with those in their residence halls and pre-orientation groups.
Raftr has been expanding to support different types of communities. From college campuses to unions and beyond. Raftr claims to be the best community management software to create, track, and grow your own private digital communities.
What is its primary purpose? According to Raftr’s own about section, sea otters float on the ocean waves in groups that are called “rafts,” sometimes holding hands in order to better stay together. Inspired by this natural example of how a community can positively influence member stability, belonging, and prosperity, our company name reflects the things we value most about community-building.
Discord is an aging Twitter alternative perfect for gamers, streamers, YouTubers and game developers. Users starts their own channels and use invite link to bring more members aboard. Discord has an amazingly crafted UX, and it has won huge favor among gamers and game developers. Some even use it as a replacement for Slack.
Discord, runs on a talented team of web developers who pretty much created the perfect app for gamers. It’s a great place for sharing your game development projects, share screenshots and meet like minded people.
Amino is a social media app originally developed by Narvii, Inc. It was created by Yin Wang and Ben Anderson in 2012, and then launched as an app in 2016. Amino was acquired by MediaLab on September 27, 2021, and the founders are no longer associated with the application.
Amino helps you meet likeminded people around the world, build your own community with your own logo, theme, background image and more, track community health analytics, with world-class curation, moderation and promotion tools.
Blue Sky (Jack Dorsey’s new social media app)
BlueSky or sometimes referred to as BlueSky Social is a new social media app started by Jack Dorsey. It hasn’t launched yet but you can get on the waitlist, and an email will be sent when it becomes available.
BlueSky Social is powered by a “self-authenticating” social protocol, according to the app’s blog. They’re currently working on something called ADX or Authenticated Data Experiment. Not much is known about what it actually is. As it continues to develop, the name has been changed to “Authenticated Transport Protocol”, or the “AT Protocol”.
What is its primary purpose? According to Jay Graber, as posted in one of her tweets: Imagine if your social media account was hosted in a git repository. You could choose to use a site like Github, but could also easily move to others like Gitlab or Bitbucket. This is essentially how Bluesky’s AT Protocol handles user data.
Tribel claims to be the “kinder, smarter social network.” When I was browsing the app, I noticed content trending mostly toward political posts. The layout was clean and it seems like there are already a lot of people using the app. So it’s definitely a good way to be noticed.
Tribel gives you a selection of timeline feeds. Upon sign up you will be asked to select a feed from Friends Feed, Following Feed, Breaking Feed and Trending Feed. The overall layout reminded me a bit of a mix between Facebook and LinkedIn.
The dashboard has access to Direct Messages and notifications. I spotted some design similarities with the old-school, original Twitter laytout that primarly feels more personal rather than narrative-based.
TruthSocial is an app for far-right republicans and conservatives. It doesn’t seem to have a webapp, so I downloaded iPhone app from iTunes store. It was generally hard to figure out how to meet anyone, or where everyone’s posts were. The app suggested I follow Trump and Kid Rock.
TruthSocial is an odd app, from UX standpoint. I couldn’t figure out how to use it. Most of its content was political memes and chants. It was hard to relate to anything posted to be honest. It lacked the human element, content felt more like a protest, rather something I could learn anything new from.
How can this app become better? Focus on tech and UX, and dismantle single-focus bias, if the app wants to live up to its name. Maybe make room for musicians or other makers of things. Social media apps are supposed to be international and open for everyone, if they want to succeed. This app truly risks extinction or any hope for global decentralized recognition, if issues which are really minimum requirement of any social media app, aren’t taken care of.
Matrix is an open network for secure, decentralized communication. It’s not exactly like other Twitter alternatives, in a sense that it’s more like an open standard protocol for online communication and conversation. It calls itself a decentralized conversation store.
According to Matrix’s own website, when you send a message in Matrix, it is replicated over all the servers whose users are participating in a given conversation — similarly to how commits are replicated between Git repositories.
I’ve added non-biased review of each app, simply describing what I saw and experienced on each. It’s obvious each app will have some bias toward either a political side, street journalism factor, or science, and what not. For each Twitter alt app, I based my experience on UX, content and substance.
I am sure I am wrong about some things, and if you spot anything you disagree with, I might need your help to help me fix it. So if you want to correct this article, please submit a comment. This can help those who are also looking for a proper Twitter alternative app where they feel at home.
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