Many users have expressed flu with Musk acquiring Twitter and plan to leave rather than stay on the bird app and see what happens, with some users already departing following Musk’s takeover of the social media app. If you have no desire to stay on Twitter and are looking for an alternative, you’re probably wondering what your options are. Outside of Discord, Facebook, Instagram, Parler, TikTok, and Truth Social, there are a few other places to consider that could fill your void as you depart from the bird app.
A self-hosted social networking site initially launched in 2016, Mastodon is one of the closer alternatives with a concept akin to what you may be familiar with if you are an avid user of Twitter (and similar apps like Truth Social).
Important to note with Mastodon that you will need to join a specific server, kinda like Discord in a sense, where servers are run by one or more people (or even an organization) with moderation controlled by those that run the server. And like Discord, there is no limit to how many servers you can join. Mastodon also includes microblogging features like Twitter, where you can see people sharing updates on a feed in the server you joined.
Cohost is a new social media network that is not in a full release but still a beta version. You can sign-up no invite code or anything is required. But the catch is that you need to wait at least a day before you can actually post there. Creating an account will allow you to examine the site and what it offers, but you won’t be able to post just yet after verifying your account.
Cohost! is similar to Twitter with the ability to see what people you follow are posting. Cohost’s website also notes future features coming down the pipeline, including the virtual tip-jar and subscription-type feature where you can share posts exclusively with those that are subscribed to you (kinda like Patreon).
Most people reading this are likely familiar with Reddit. While its functionality is remotely close to Twitter, Reddit is a popular website for those that want to interact with people on a specific interest or topic. With subreddits for various things, from hobbies to fandoms and more. Like Mastodon, moderation is done by moderators. Each subreddit has its own rules you must follow or risk being kicked out of the subreddit.
Part microblogging and part social media site, Tumblr launched back in 2007. While it is more of a blog, and the concept is somewhat like MySpace (to a degree), Tumblr does offer a feed that allows you to see recent posts from people you follow. You can even add to posts by inserting your own text or adding a piece of media like a photo or GIF.
Clubhouse is a bit more interesting than the others mentioned because this app is primarily audio-centric and it is only available on smartphones and tablets. Released around the height of COVID-19, Clubhouse’s concept is similar to that of the Twitter Spaces feature.
The big feature of Clubhouse is “Rooms,” where someone can start a virtual room to discuss a certain topic(s). The rooms offer different degrees of privacy, too: “Open” means that anyone on Clubhouse can join in, “Social Rooms” are exclusive to moderators, and “Closed” are invite-only, where users of the app need to be invited by a moderator into the room.
Clubhouse also has three sections — those speaking are on the “stage,” while “followed by speakers” displays a bunch of users that may be followed by an individual(s) currently speaking in the room. While “others in the room” are individuals not following anyone in the room but are stopping by to listen.
Events and a Backchannel are also featured and available on the app. Events allow an individual to schedule an upcoming conversation/room so people can mark it on their calendars. While Backchannel is a messaging feature that allows you to send a message to one person or a group chat.
Outside of virtual rooms, you can join a Club based on hobbies and interests, there is also a “Clubs” feature that allows you to join a Club based on a certain topic(s). Some clubs are open to anyone, while others require an invite-only or you have to “apply” to be accepted.
So, this is not an alternative you can use right now. But it is important to keep a close eye on Bluesky. Not only is it created by Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, but Dorsey launched the project back in 2019 as a way to decentralize the bird app. It is also important to note that Twitter is funding the project; whether or not Musk will continue to fund it is up in the air. But if you are curious to see what Bluesky could be, you can sign up and join the waitlist for a chance to test a beta build of the app.
Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.