witter could be about to implode amid staff reports locked out of his office and many resigned en masse in the face of new owner Elon Musk”hardcore» labor policy. The latest turmoil comes after Musk fired half of Twitter’s staff and dissolved its board in a controversial bid to make the loss-making platform profitable.
With the coming from Twitter looking more and more precarious, it might be time to try one of the alternatives. While you might not find the exact same functionality elsewhere, these platforms can help you socialize with like-minded users, keep tabs on the most niche news and interests.
Number of active users: 52,000,000 (2021)
Founded a year before Twitter, Reddit is an internet institution, but one that can often seem opaque and hostile to people without an internet literacy degree. It looks a lot more like a typical message board or forum than Twitter and is divided into often incredibly specific areas called subreddits.
These are home to some of the best and worst the internet has to offer. And, of course, the bad bits have gotten all the attention over the years. However, it’s a great place to indulge in hobbies with like-minded people, while Reddit feeds like /todayilearned and /dataisbeautiful are Twitter’s best time-killers minus the guilt.
Number of active users: 520,000
Although Mastodon is one of the most similar alternatives to Twitter, its use will be very different. Twitter is a juggernaut where everyone tweets under the same virtual dome, while Mastodon operates as a series of smaller servers, each with a maximum of 250,000 participants.
A server is chosen during registration. There is a server for “people in Scotland or who identify as Scottish”, for example, or another for “ravers”. Mastodon is going to feel a lot less busy than Twitter; it’s less a place to pick up social media influence and more to connect with people who have similar interests.
Number of active users: Unknown
In response to the ills that have plagued social media giants like Twitter and Facebook, CounterSocial claims to take a “zero tolerance stance” toward “hostile nations, bot accounts, trolls, and disinformation networks.”
To this end, it blocks entire countries from accessing the network, including Russia, China, and North Korea. The app is, however, very slow to load at the moment (possibly due to an influx of people leaving Twitter).
Once you properly enter the app, the look and feel is similar to Twitter, but with virtually zero engagement in posts from the “firehose community” of content promoted by the app itself. CounterSocial is not for those looking to spend time browsing social media feeds right now. Bring friends. However, you might not give it a try if you read the platform’s FAQ section.
Number of active users: Unknown
If CounterSocial is the “bot-free” platform, Cohost aims to be the “algorithm-free” social network, bringing back some of the internet feel of yesteryear. It promises “no ads, no tracking”, for good.
You can try the service for free, but there’s also a Cohost Plus subscription for $5 per month ($50 per year) to support developers and unlock a few advanced features, such as large file uploads. There is no Cohost phone app yet, just a Web interface, which is not easy to find. And its active user base is probably tiny. Sign up with a group of friends, however, and there are worse ways to stay connected online.
Daily posts: 9,000,000
Tumblr is a social network that many have forgotten about. It was a giant at the time when such platforms were systematically described as a “hellscape”. But according to a new yorker interview with Tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio, 48% of active users and 61% of new users are Gen Z.
Today, it emerges as a much lower stakes network than the big names. Since it’s been around forever, it doesn’t claim to want to clean the social media slate, but is less influenced by influencers than more traditional networks.