Twitter drama too much? Mastodon, others emerge as options


Twitter has been a little bit of a large number since billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk took the helm, slicing the corporate’s workforce in half, upending the platform’s verification system, sparring with customers over jokes and acknowledging that ” dumb issues ” may occur as he reshapes one of many world’s most high-profile info ecosystems.

On Thursday, amid an exodus of senior executives liable for knowledge privateness, cybersecurity and complying with laws, he warned the corporate’s remaining workers that Twitter may not survive if it could’t discover a method to herald at the least half its income from subscriptions.

While it is not clear if the drama is inflicting many customers to go away — in actual fact, having a front-row seat to the chaos could show entertaining to some — lesser-known websites Mastodon and even Tumblr are rising as new (or renewed) options. Here’s a take a look at a few of them.

(Oh, and in case you are leaving Twitter and need to protect your tweet historical past, you’ll be able to obtain it by going to your profile settings and clicking on “your account” then “obtain an archive of your knowledge.”)


Sharing a reputation with an extinct mammal resembling an elephant, Mastodon has emerged as a frontrunner amongst these interested by life past the blue hen. It shares some similarities with Twitter, however there are some massive variations — and never simply that its model of tweets are formally known as “toots.”

Mastodon is a decentralized social community. That means it is not owned by a single firm or billionaire. Rather, it is made up of a community of servers, every run independently however in a position to join so folks on completely different servers can talk. There are not any advertisements as Mastodon is funded by donations, grants and different means.

Mastodon’s feed is chronological, not like Facebook, Instagram, TikTook or Twitter, which all use algorithms to get folks to spend as a lot time on a website as potential.

It could be a tad formidable to attempt to enroll to Mastodon. Because every server is run individually, you have to to first decide one you need to be part of, then undergo the steps to create an account and agree with the server’s guidelines. There are common and interest- and location-based ones, however in the long run it will not actually matter. Once you are in, the feed is harking back to Twitter. You can write (as much as 500 characters), submit pictures or movies, and comply with accounts as nicely as see a common public feed.

“We current a imaginative and prescient of social media that can not be purchased and owned by any billionaire, and try to create a extra resilient international platform with out revenue incentives,” Mastodon’s web site says.

Currently, the positioning has greater than 1 million customers, practically half of whom signed up after Musk took over Twitter on Oct. 27, based on founder Eugen Rochko.

Another choice, Counter Social, additionally runs an ad-free, chronological social platform that is funded by customers. To stop overseas affect operations, Counter Social says it blocks entry to Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan and Syria. It boasts of providing one-click translation into over 80 languages. It has over 63 million month-to-month customers, based on its web site.


Remember Clubhouse, again after we had been all beneath lockdown and could not speak in particular person? It’s the buzzy audio-only app that bought considerably overshadowed by copycat Twitter Spaces, which additionally lets folks speak to one another (assume convention name, podcast or “audio chat”) about subjects of curiosity.

Once you be part of, Clubhouse helps you to begin or pay attention into conversations on a number of subjects, from tech to professional sports activities, parenting, Black literature and so forth. There are not any posts, pictures or movies — solely folks’s profile footage and their voices. Conversations may be intimate, like a cellphone name, or may embody 1000’s of individuals listening to a chat by boldface names, like a convention or stage interview.


For longer reads, newsletters, and common info absorption, these websites are maybe closest to the weblog period of the early 2000s. You can learn each with out signing up or paying, however some writers, creators and podcasters create premium content material for paying subscribers.


Tumblr, which was all however left for useless, seems to be having fun with considerably of a resurgence. The phrases/pictures/artwork/video website is thought for its devoted fan base and has been dwelling to offended posts from celebrities like Taylor Swift. It angered many customers in 2018 when it banned porn and “grownup content material,” which made up an enormous a part of its extremely visible and meme-friendly on-line presence and led to a big drop in its consumer base.

Onboarding is straightforward, and for many who miss the early years of social media, there is a decidedly retro, comforting really feel to the positioning.

T2 or TBD?

Gabor Cselle, a veteran of Google who labored at Twitter from 2014 to 2016, is set to create a greater Twitter. For now, he is calling it T2 and says the Web area identify he bought for it — — value $7.16. T2, which can or might not be its closing identify, is at the moment accepting signups for its waitlist, however the website is clearly not but functioning.

“I feel Twitter at all times had an issue in determining what to do and how one can resolve on what to do. And that was at all times form of behind my thoughts,” Cselle advised The Associated Press. “On Monday, I made a decision to simply go for it. I did not see anybody else actually doing it.”

Twitter-style textual content and TikTok-style movies are one concept. Cselle says for this to work, the textual content actually must be “amped up” so it is not drowned out by the movies.

“My wager is that it is going to be simpler and extra environment friendly to construct a greater Twitter or public sq. now than repair the legacy issues at Twitter,” Cselle added.

Cselle, after all, is just not the one one leaping to the chance. Project Mushroom, as an illustration, plans a “protected place on the web — a community-led open-source dwelling for creators in search of justice on an overheating planet” and says it has acquired 25,000 early signups to its yet-to-launch platform.

“My sense is that issues are going to additional fragment into extra ideological platforms and a few will die after which we’ll see some new consolidation emerge over the following couple of years,” stated Jennifer Stromer-Galley, a professor at Syracuse University who research social media.


One of Twitter’s most beneficial options has been the best way it permits folks to seek out info inside seconds. Was that simply an earthquake? Twitter will inform you. Or at the least it did.

While there isn’t a good alternative for Twitter, staying updated with native, nationwide and worldwide information is simpler than ever. Apple and Google each provide information companies that combination articles from a broad vary of publication (Apple gives a premium subscription service that will get you entry to extra articles, whereas Google reveals free tales first.) There’s additionally Flipboard, which works form of like a private journal curated to your pursuits.

Of course, subscribing to particular person publications (or downloading a free information app such as the AP’s AP News) can be an choice.

Yes, you might need to pay for a few of them and no, you will not get a blue checkmark together with your subscription.


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