ICYMI: Elon Musk recently purchased Twitter and his changes have left creators and brands wondering what's to come.
Please note that Twitter will do lots of dumb things in coming months.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 9, 2022
We will keep what works & change what doesn’t.
From massive layoffs to a paid verification feature, the new Twitter has creators and brands split right down the middle.
Should they stay? Delete their accounts? Try Mastodon? Double-down on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok? We're breaking it all down, below.
The “New” Twitter: A Recap
To say there's been a lot happening on Twitter is an understatement.
So, here’s a quick recap of the past few weeks to get you up to speed:
When Did Elon Musk Take Over Twitter?
Musk officially became the owner and CEO of Twitter in October 2022 — after his acquisition took months to reach a deal.
How Much Did Elon Musk Buy Twitter For?
Musk purchased Twitter for $44B.
How Many People Has He Laid Off?
Over the past few weeks, Musk has laid off 50% of Twitter’s staff, let go of over 4K contractors, and even a few senior executives have quit.
How Much Is Elon Musk Charging for the Twitter Blue Subscription?
One of Musk’s biggest changes was the rollout of a new Twitter Blue. For $8 per month, users would be able to receive a coveted verification checkmark.
The result? Trolls, pranksters, and mayhem.
Brands, creators, and celebrities were impersonated — leading to misinformation and confusion over whose accounts were actually “real.”
One of the most notable was pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly who apologized after false Tweets impacted their stock price:
Twitter has since paused the new verification rollout, with Musk promising a relaunch to come:
Punting relaunch of Blue Verified to November 29th to make sure that it is rock solid— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 15, 2022
While there have been “Official” labels added to accounts, many brands have paused their advertising on Twitter (or left entirely).
It remains to be seen how accounts will be verified on the app moving forward. Stay tuned.
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What Are Creators & Brands Saying About the New Twitter?
In a nutshell, there are opinions on both sides.
Some have praised Musk for his innovation, while others are concerned about his overall vision (or are taking a humorous approach):
ppl are saying elon’s running twitter like michael scott would & that’s incorrect. this is the episode where creed was interim regional manager.— Desus Nice (@desusnice) November 12, 2022
And some brands have left the platform altogether, as Playbill and Balenciaga are out.
Even a few celebrities have stepped down — with Shonda Rhimes and Gigi Hadid calling it quits.
But many, Later included, have adopted the "wait and see" approach as it's difficult to predict what will happen on Twitter in the coming days, weeks, and months.
In the meantime, for creators and brands in search of the next best alternatives to Twitter...keep reading.
What Are the Next Best Alternatives to Twitter?
With all the uncertainty surrounding Twitter, it's understandable that some creators and brands may be considering other options.
And while there is currently no app that functions exactly like Twitter (or has its cultural impact), here are five Twitter alternatives to keep on your radar:
Personal Newsletters or Websites
Option #1: Mastodon
First off, what is Mastodon? It's become the buzzword du jour.
The German-based company connects users to a network of servers that are based on interests or location.
Similar to Twitter, users can write Toots (their version of Tweets) that you can like, reply to, and follow.
According to Tech Crunch, Mastodon has gained nearly 500K new users since October 27 — doubling its user base.
Even so, not everyone is as convinced yet that it'll take off:
Unpopular opinion: Mastodon isn’t a replacement for Twitter.— emily freeman 🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@editingemily) November 14, 2022
While it doesn't have the scale or intuitiveness of Twitter, it may be worth experimenting with to see if it'll work for you.
Option #2: Hive Social
Hive Social is a mobile-only platform that lets you customize your profile, follow users, and post content.
According to Business Insider, founder Raluca Pop says Hive Social is a "safe and healthy community."
One of its biggest draws? Unlike other social platforms, it comes with a fully chronological feed — aka no algorithms (for now).
Since @TheHIVE_Social has been popping off, I figured I'd write a little thread based off of my experience so far.— atheenabean 🔜 PAXU (@atheenabean) November 20, 2022
I made an account last night and have already fallen in love with this new platform.
First and foremost, it feels like they took all of the best features 🧵
However, Hive Social consists of a small team, so it doesn't have the bells and whistles of Twitter just yet.
For example, there's no verification (one user pointed out usernames are not protected), no content moderators, and security may be spotty.
On the flip side, this little engine that could is currently the most trendy Twitter alternative, as it lets users navigate in a similar way — with a few nods to Tumblr and Instagram too.
Option #3: Tumblr
Talk about a blast from the past.
Tumblr is making a comeback — and as an alternative to Twitter, it created a cheeky thread enticing creators and brands to join their platform:
According to Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic, it’s also seen an increase in downloads:
For @Tumblr: Over the past 7 days, iOS downloads are up 58% with 30% more impressions in the App Store. Android downloads are up 57% with 50% more impressions in the Play Store.— Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt) November 8, 2022
Tumblr promises to open the door to free edit features, lengthy character limits, and the ability to remove algorithm-suggested content.
Okay, Tumblr. We see you. Our interest is piqued.
Option #4: Personal Newsletters or Websites
Diversifying your content on multiple channels gives you more options and means you can speak directly to your audience in a controlled environment.
With a newsletter or website, you can share content without worrying about anything changing on a whim:
I’m so glad I started a newsletter and built up ownership of my audience versus being overly dependent on a social network like twitter.— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) November 12, 2022
As twitter spirals out of control, it should act as another warning to creators about relying on any one platform.
Plus, you have something to drive traffic back to.
Option #5: Established Platforms
Another option for creators and brands is to simply adapt their strategies and refocus their efforts to more established platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
Facebook is still frequently used for paid ads, and TikTok and Instagram have proven their superiority as platforms for sharing visual content.
However, LinkedIn isn’t one to sleep on either.
“LinkedIn is an underrated platform,” says marketing strategist and LinkedIn creator Sara Lattanzio.
“They’ve started to invest more in creators. From the Creator Mode rollout to global creator programs, they’re making it easier to share content and grow an audience. It’s just the beginning.”
We know, we know, there's a lot of uncertainty surrounding Twitter right now.
So it's okay to pause before you act.
But if you are ready to move, these Twitter alternatives are your next best bet.
It remains to be seen what the future of Twitter will be, but we'll keep an eye out and report back. 📝