As Twitter spirals into an uncertain future, millions look for a Twitter replacement.
Twitter may still be incredibly popular, but it is more annoying than ever. The questionable verification process, awful timeline changes, drama after drama…it’s all a bit much. Twitter may remain a social media king for years to come, but some users want out of the kingdom. The problem is finding a viable Twitter replacement.
That’s why we’re here to help. We looked at some of the internet’s favorite Twitter replacement sites in order to find the best one. While we didn’t find an undisputed winner, we did find several Twitter replacement sites worth at least a quick look.
- Emphasized User Freedom
- Twitter-like Interface
- Growing User Base
- EXTREMELY Controversial Content
- Has Become a Haven for Hate Groups
- Almost No Moderation
We almost hesitate to include Gab at all on this list, but it’s a service that you should probably at least be aware of.
On the surface, Gab is a very simple service. It lets you sent out short, Twitter-like messages to a variety of users and supports multimedia content. In fact, it’s so similar to Twitter that you might be tempted to call it a logical alternative based solely on its simplicity.
However, Gab comes with a big catch. Because the service providers emphasize user freedom, Gab has become a safe haven for people kicked off of Twitter and other places. Gab almost never cracks down on its users over objectionable content. People can post pretty much whatever they want.
That sounds great until you realize that Gab has been taken over by extremist political groups. In fact, some call Gab the official social media platform of the “alt-right” and race supremacists. Gab isn’t ready to accept that identity, but it’s hard to ignore the facts.
All things considered, it’s almost impossible to recommend Gab to anyone that isn’t comfortable with that extremely objectionable content. The shame of it is that Gab could have been something special. If Gab’s operators figure out how to regulate the service, it still might be.
- Excellent Interface Ideas
- Anonymous Post Options
- Strong Privacy
- Service is Showing its Age
- Difficult to Manage Conversations
- Disappearing User Base
Plurk is a quirky entry into the growing social media market.
The service resembles Twitter in terms of basic functionality. That is to say that’s it’s designed around the idea of sending out short messages to followers and random people. It’s billed as a microblogging site, but Twitter users will instantly recognize the basics.
Plurk distinguishes itself through its interface and ideas. It utilizes a horizontal timeline, which many say is easier to browse. Plurk also lets you create “cliques” so that certain messages only go to a select group of people. There’s also a Reddit-like karma system that helps you easily find top content.
To be honest, there are a lot of things that Plurk does that Twitter should just copy. To be even more honest, there are a lot of things that Twitter does that Plurk should just copy.
The biggest problem with Plurk is its lack of growth. The service still lacks some quality of life features and makes it difficult to do things like search and manage multiple conversations. This means that Plurk is widely used by long-time users. Since many of those long-time users are based in Taiwan and Asia, you might feel like a stranger in a strange land.
7. Tik Tok
- Interesting Video Sharing Options
- Incredibly Popular
- Fascinating Use of Music
- Very Young User Base
- Content is Not Always The Best
- Not A Great News Source
For a time, Tik Tok (formerly known as musical.ly) was one of the most downloaded apps in the world. The appeal is certainly easy to see.
Think of Tik Tok as Twitter or Instagram for video. The site encourages users to post quick videos and share them with the world. These videos can be modified with various effects that include stickers, backgrounds, and music.
Actually, music is the backbone of this service. Tik Tok encourages you to make social media posts in the form of music videos. It’s an interesting concept that has people modifying and pursuing video content in the same way that Instagram has affected photography.
At its best, Tik Tok is a great way to view and share interesting video content. However, quite a bit of content on the platform tends to be lazy and similar. Furthermore, many of Tik Tok’s users tend to skew younger. That means that you just might not care about the very “trendy” content that gets passed around.
Tik Tok is worth a download, but as a Twitter alternative, its format limits its ability to function as a quick source of news.
- Wide Array of Features
- All About Privacy/User Contributions
- Clean Interface
- No Mobile App
- Doesn’t Try to Ban Dangerous Users
- Reportedly Declining User Base
Social media privacy is a big deal. As more users become aware of how Twitter and Facebook invade their privacy, they look for private alternatives. So far as that goes, Diaspora is certainly an interesting alternative.
Diaspora utilizes a “pod” system. You (or someone) creates a community within a pod. That pod can cover any topic (or just be a general community). You can also link your pod to other pods from other users.
The benefit of the pod system is privacy/control. The admin of each pod is able to customize their pod to tremendous degrees. Furthermore, the lack of an overbearing corporate network means that there is – theoretically – no big brother watching over you.
That’s all great, but Diaspora may offer too much freedom at times. Diaspora often refuses to interfere with a pod even if it’s being used by a hate group. While it’s fairly easy to avoid some of that content, the idea of it existing is unsettling.
All things considered, Diaspora is clean, fun, and versatile, but feels stuck in its ways.
- Amazing Curation System
- Strong Safeguards
- Variety of Topics
- Simple Profiles
- Communities May Be A Bit Too “Closed”
- Little Room For General Topics
There are many social media alternatives out there that are trying to “curate” content. The idea behind them is to make sure you don’t get overwhelmed with stories and information you don’t care about. Instead, you can focus on the content that matters to you.
Raftr excels at that approach. You can join a variety of “rafts” focused on everything from the latest Marvel movie to vegetarian recipes. However, Raftr is at its best when you’re following developing stories. It’s a better version of the hashtag system that allows you to easily follow a story and people’s reactions to it.
That’s great, but Raftr doesn’t make it easy to share clever thoughts and other such nonsensical content. It can be annoying to go to specific communities every time you want to share just about anything.
While that is certainly the point of the entire platform, we sometimes wish that Raftr wasn’t quite as closed as it is. Right now, it feels like a more personalized version of Reddit than a fully-fledged Twitter alternative.
- Token Economy Can Make You Money
- Doesn’t Exploit Users
- iOS App
- More of a Facebook Alternative
- Small User Base
- Somewhat Confusing System/Premium Plans
Facebook is one of the wealthiest social media platforms in the world due in large part to the way they turn user activity into profit. Basically, they’re turning your time into their money.
Minds is a platform that wants to turn your social media time into your money. Well…kind of. Minds utilizes a system that rewards you with “tokens” for your activity. These tokens can then be used to expand the reach that your post gets. For every token you spend, your post gets shared to 1,000 random people that might not have otherwise seen it.
It’s an interesting system that is flawed in a few ways. First off, Minds user base isn’t quite large enough to really incentivize you to reach as many users as possible via tokens. As such, you’re still kind of better off using your promotion time on Twitter and Facebook. Even if your content gets sucked into the void, it still feels like you’re getting more attention on popular platforms.
Minds is a great concept – and the actual social media content is pretty good – but the practicality just isn’t there.
- Massive User Base
- Tons of Content
- Very Easy to Use
- Mobile App Could Still Use Work
- Not As Quick As Twitter
- Somewhat Weak As A Media Source
Tumblr is hardly obscure. Founded in 2007, this social media site houses over 400 million blogs and many more users. Much like Twitter, it encourages you to make short posts about whatever interests you then share them with the world.
Unlike Twitter, Tumblr is a bit more focused on your page and not everything that is happening in the world. It encourages you to create and manage a microblog that is ideally regularly updated. The hope is that your blog will attract followers and that you will start following other blogs.
For what Tumblr is, it works very well. There’s no shortage of users on the site, Tumblr is loaded with blogs of various types, and you can learn to use it in minutes. All of that is great.
As a Twitter alternative, though, Tumblr falls short in one key area; global media. Twitter is a great place to keep up with current events and breaking news. Tumblr allows you to do that, but not quite as quickly.
That’s a notable drawback, but for content creators, Tumblr is pretty great.
- Amazing App
- Great Photo Modification Features
- Used By Millions of People
- User to User Communication Isn’t the Best
- Iffy As a News Source
It feels odd to even talk about Instagram on this list. After all, who isn’t aware of Instagram? It’s one of the world’s most popular apps.
What’s interesting, though, is that more and more people are looking at Instagram as a viable Twitter replacement. In some ways,it makes a lot of sense. Instagram’s photo-sharing format tends to inspire creativity and less hostility.
Furthermore, Instagram is slowly being used for more and more purposes. Businesses are becoming more photo-savvy. Content creators are sharing more of their work. Even some news outlets are starting to use it to share certain stories.
All of that is great, and Instagram deserves to be such a popular app. However, as a Twitter replacement, it’s a bit lacking. Communication on Instagram basically boils down to sharing photos and short text descriptions. There’s little room on Instagram for just sharing a few thoughts or similar content.
Because of that, Instagram’s viability as a true Twitter replacement is a bit questionable. However, as a social media site that is worth your time, you could argue that Instagram is currently a better overall social media site.
- Twitter-like interface
- Open Source
- Quite a Few Users
- A Bit Confusing
- Too Similar to Twitter?
Mastodon is the name that comes up more than any other when people talk about Twitter replacements. Actually, the people behind Mastodon are usually the ones who start that conversation.
There’s no getting around the fact that Mastodon is heavily influenced by Twitter. In fact, it’s basically a copy of Twitter with a few copyright-friendly changes. For instance, tweets are called Toots.
However, Mastodon offers a few things that Twitter does not. First off, it’s designed to cut down on hate speech, hate groups, and similar content that currently plagues Twitter. Such content is often hard to find unless you look for it. Mastodon has also made it hard for other users to share such content (even if they’re denouncing it).
Mastodon is also an ad-free, open-source platform. That means that there’s no corporate big brother spying on your content. It also means that any user can set-up their own server or join a server of their choosing.
The point of all these features is that Mastodon wants the service to feel like your service. You won’t get invaded by spam, unnecessary celebrity drama, and many of Twitter’s other annoyances.
That’s all great…until it isn’t. Mastadon’s biggest problem is that it’s a bit confusing. The act of joining individual servers is annoying. The fact that there’s no one “central” Mastodon app is problematic. Even the service’s Twitter-like features are an issue whenever they differ from Twitter just slightly. It all creates confusion.
Still, we’re talking about a pretty viable Twitter replacement that is at least worth checking out.