With Twitter In a Headwind, Here Are a Few Alternatives To Explore

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credit: Brett Jordan/ unsplash
  • Twitter has been a bit of a mess since billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk took the helm.
  • He is on the verge of reshaping one of the world’s most high-profile information ecosystems.
  • Lesser-known sites Mastodon and even Tumblr are emerging as new (or renewed) alternatives.

Amid an exodus of senior executives responsible for data privacy, cybersecurity and complying with regulations, he warned the company’s remaining employees that Twitter might not survive if it can’t find a way to bring in at least half its revenue from subscriptions. While it’s not clear if the drama is causing many users to leave in fact, having a front-row seat to the chaos may prove entertaining to some lesser-known sites Mastodon and even Tumblr are emerging as new alternatives. Here’s a look at some of them.

MASTODON

Sharing a name with an extinct mammal resembling an elephant, Mastodon has emerged as a frontrunner among those curious about life beyond the blue bird. It shares some similarities with Twitter, but there are some big differences — and not just that its version of tweets are officially called “toots.”

Mastodon is a decentralized social network. That means it’s not owned by a single company or billionaire. Rather, it’s made up of a network of servers, each run independently but able to connect so people on different servers can communicate.

It can be a tad daunting to try to sign up to Mastodon. Because each server is run separately, you will need to first pick one you want to join, then go through the steps to create an account and agree with the server’s rules. There are general and interest- and location-based ones, but in the end it won’t really matter. Once you’re in, the feed is reminiscent of Twitter.

CLUBHOUSE

It’s the buzzy audio-only app that got somewhat overshadowed by copycat Twitter Spaces, which also lets people talk to each other (think conference call, podcast or “audio chat”) about topics of interest. Once you join, Clubhouse lets you start or listen into conversations on a host of topics, from tech to pro sports, parenting, Black literature and so on. There are no posts, photos or videos — only people’s profile pictures and their voices. Conversations can be intimate, like a phone call, or might include thousands of people listening to a talk by boldface names, like a conference or stage interview.

SUBSTACK and MEDIUM

For longer reads, newsletters, and general information absorption, these sites are perhaps closest to the blog era of the early 2000s. You can read both without signing up or paying, but some writers, creators and podcasters create premium content for paying subscribers.

TUMBLR

Tumblr, which was all but left for dead, appears to be enjoying somewhat of a resurgence. The words/photos/art/video site is known for its devoted fan base and has been home to angry posts from celebrities like Taylor Swift. It angered many users in 2018 when it banned porn and “adult content,” which made up a big part of its highly visual and meme-friendly online presence and led to a large drop in its user base.

While there is no perfect replacement for Twitter, staying up to date with local, national and international news is easier than ever. Apple and Google both offer news services that aggregate articles from a broad range of publications.

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Source: Fortune

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