Twitter is in the headlines with stories about its loss of advertisers, fake posts and many personnel changes -- and the uncertainty is prompting people to explore other social media platforms.
Elon Musk's Twitter takeover could change business accounts with updates to advertising and security. Musk fired top executives and changed the platform's verification process with Twitter Blue, which led to creating fake accounts instead of preventing them. In November 2022, someone opened a fake Eli Lilly account with the blue check mark and tweeted that insulin shots were now free, causing the company to lose possibly $15 billion at the time of the tweet.
As people continue to watch and see what happens to Twitter, there are other reliable ways to get news -- including checking reliable news websites such as the Associated Press, BBC, CBS, CNN and Reuters. People can also enable an RSS feed on news websites by clicking on the RSS icon to receive the latest news, or download an RSS reader such as Feedly to choose updates from selected sources.
To create connections, users are looking for other ways to promote their businesses on social media. Some social media platforms have a reputation as being biased -- such as Parler, Gab and Truth Social -- and don't monitor users' posted information, attributing it to free speech. However, there are other social media options to create business connections and reach new consumers.
Bluesky is similar to Twitter as users can share photo updates and short texts or reply and share other people’s posts.
Bluesky will be different from other social media apps because it will be a decentralized system, which means people can build their own communities and apps within it. There is no individual to create rules for the entire social media platform.
As of now, Bluesky is by invitation only, so not everyone can join, but it will be available to the public after beta testing.
Clubhouse is an audio-only app where people talk to each other in a live podcast forum. When someone is speaking, their profile icon lights up.
After users join Clubhouse, they can listen to a variety of topics, including sports, business, finance, literature and parenting. Unlike Twitter, there are no videos, images or text posts -- only profile photos and voices.
The conversations can be small, with a few people, or thousands of people can listen in like a conference. These conversations are unfiltered and without time limits to encourage discussion.
There are no ads on Clubhouse. However, users can use Clubhouse to expand business connections. Users can schedule an event by doing the following:
- Select Create a Room at the bottom of the feed.
- Allow access to everyone for the event or select attendees by sending them the link.
- Enable chat during the event and offer replays.
Room titles and topics are searchable for other Clubhouse users.
CounterSocial states there are no ads, trolls, fake news or abuse on their platform. This social media platform is not available everywhere. Blocked countries include China, Iran and Russia, among others.
CounterSocial offers news, livestreaming and the ability to create communities. Users determine the content on CounterSocial. They can also create columns on its user interface to sort posts by topics, hashtags and users. Users can share, like and comment on posts. A video chat feature is also included.
Discord might not look like Twitter, as it is not a single server, but this platform can help users create social and professional circles to enable conversations and stay up to date on the latest news. Discord started as a method for people to talk while playing video games and has expanded to more topic areas.
There are no public spaces on Discord, but there are topic-based servers and channels for members to join and communicate. People can share music and text, as well as participate in video or voice calls within these servers. Channels are divided into voice or text rooms for communication. Discord servers can be public or private, requiring registered users to have an invitation link to join.
LinkedIn is known for being a professional networking site, but the platform has added new social media features in the past couple of years, including streaming and a news feed.
Users can post videos, links, updates and pictures on LinkedIn much like they can on Twitter. The platform also offers LinkedIn Learning for users to develop new job skills, and users can search and apply for job openings.
Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in 2016. LinkedIn had a problem with fake accounts in the past, but the company is working to delete them through AI and machine learning monitoring. LinkedIn employees also manually review profiles to remove fake accounts, according to a report by the company.
Mastodon is not a centralized platform like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It is decentralized and lets users create and host their own communities through open source software. There are no ads because Mastodon is not owned by one company. Mastodon's platform links together multiple servers, which can also be considered their own social networks in many ways. Each group governs its own server.
Users search for servers that have people with similar interests. Users can share information from the server to help other people find their server if they are not a part of it. Users can also change the server they belong to if they find a better match.
Meta’s new app Threads – released July 6, 2023 -- offers similar features to Twitter. Users are required to have an Instagram account and those usernames will transfer to Threads. Users will follow accounts and can like, reply, direct message and share posts.
“Threads” posts can be shown to anyone, followers or by tagging someone with an “@” mention. This conversation app allows Instagram users to follow the same accounts on Threads but gives more options for communicating. Some users refer to Threads as “Twitter Killer” because they speculate users will move away from Twitter to this app.
Threads is a completely free app unlike Twitter, which offers paid verification.
Reddit might not be a new alternative, but it offers a large collection of forums on various topics. These small community forums are known as subreddits and can be used to share and comment. Registered users can also vote on comments to help them gain or lose momentum.
Subreddits cover a variety of topics, including hobbies, entertainment, health, news and business. Anyone can read the information on Reddit, but to comment, interact or create a subreddit, they need to register.
Reddit has a front page dividing content into different tabs. The default tab is called Hot, which shows the submissions with the highest scores -- determined by registered users' upvotes and downvotes. Users can upvote -- or press the up arrow -- if they think a post positively contributes to the community. Users can also select the down arrow on posts they find irrelevant and unhelpful.
Registered users can see the Best tab, which also features the most-upvoted posts from subreddits. Reddit also factors in the user's viewed subreddits to make it more personalized for those who register on the site. The front page also features submissions based on algorithms.
Other tabs include Rising for new posts with upvotes, and Controversial, which determines which posts have conflicting opinions based on the relative number of downvotes and upvotes.
TikTok now offers more than posting short form videos. Users can now post text-only content by selecting text from the three post options of photo, video and text on the camera page.
Ideas of text post sharing to express creativity include sharing poems, recipes, thoughts or other written content. Users can also tag a location and enable comments to interact with other users.
Users can also add stickers, background colors and sound to customize content. They can tag other accounts in the text posts and add hashtags to create trending posts.
Similar to other TikTok posts, users can save text drafts and store them to post later or delete them.
Tumblr tracks trending topics like Twitter by using blogs to share information, with a Staff Picks section to highlight topics. Tumblr features microblogging and hybrid blogging for short posts, and most posts contain more visual content than words. Users can leave notes on a post, similar to comments. People can also like, share and repost content on Tumblr.
There is advertising on Tumblr; however, users can subscribe for $4.99 a month or $39.99 a year to go ad-free. There are additional features such as premium designs and custom domains available for a fee.
WT.Social, short for WikiTribune Social, is another platform created by Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales. WT.Social has the same philosophy as Wikipedia and runs on donations instead of advertising.
WT.Social users can create, join and contribute to what the site refers to as subwikis by microblogging about topics. Users can also share links within their subwikis with other users for discussion. WT.Social requires posts to be evidence-based news with clear and reliable source links. Moderators and other users can flag and edit misleading posts and links to help prevent disinformation.