Twitter’s Competitors and the Evolution of Microblogging in 2023
Twitter has long held its own as a platform for rapid-fire conversation, trending topics, and up-to-the-minute news updates. Recently, however, there’s been growing interest in alternative platforms like Mastodon and Blue Sky. But are these platforms truly taking the lead, or are they merely supporting actors on the social media stage?
Despite the buzz surrounding these competitors, users who’ve made the leap to these platforms seem to be maintaining a dual presence, tweeting as usual while exploring these new territories. As evidence, the continuing cultural conversations on Twitter — from political discourse to events like Glastonbury — are a testament to Twitter’s robust user base.
However, the eventual demise of Twitter — a prediction made by some — won’t occur until a major migration of influencers and celebrities takes place. Until that happens, Twitter remains a vital platform. Yet, as savvy marketers, it’s essential to keep an eye on your Twitter analytics. If you notice a significant drop in followers or impressions, this might be an indication that your audience is migrating to other platforms.
One of the contenders for Twitter’s crown is Mastodon, a decentralized social network boasting over 10 million members compared to Twitter’s 290 million. Although this might seem a significant number, it’s worth noting that Mastodon’s user base predominantly comprises tech and media influencers.
Mastodon’s user experience may not appeal to everyone, given that it’s hosted on multiple servers, each managed by different communities. This setup gives each server its unique community guidelines. Despite this complexity, Mastodon does promise an ad-free experience unless individual servers opt for ad inclusion.
Another alternative is Blue Sky, a smaller platform currently operating on an invite-only basis. Its user interface is similar to Twitter, and many users simply repurpose their tweets for this platform. Like Mastodon, Blue Sky is decentralized, and it enables users to cross-promote their content on other social networks. Despite the hype surrounding its launch — largely due to the involvement of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey — Blue Sky has only registered around 50,000 users globally, while its app has been downloaded more than 375,000 times.
Despite the buzz around these alternatives, there doesn’t appear to be a massive demand for a Twitter substitute. However, businesses must consider their target audience’s preferences and align their social media strategy accordingly.
Interestingly, Meta is also venturing into the microblogging sphere with a new text-based app. Referred to internally as ‘Project 92‘, this standalone app, now confirmed to be called ‘Threads’, aims to provide a space for text-based conversation. What sets this project apart is its one-tap feature that lets users follow the same accounts they follow on Instagram, promising a seamless integration between the two platforms. Instagram seems to position itself as a safer version of Twitter, focusing more on user safety regulations. The success of this new venture remains to be seen.
While alternatives to Twitter are emerging, they have yet to topple the microblogging giant. But watch this space, the landscape of social media marketing is certain to change rapidly over the coming months!
It’s crucial to stay updated of these shifts and adapt our strategies to where our audiences are most engaged. Avocado Social will continue to host our free monthly Social Media Marketing Updates to help you keep ahead of all of the important changes.
This blog was written using content discussed during our Social Media Marketing Update – June 2023. The full video recording is available on our YouTube Channel.
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