Five Alternatives to Twitter/X for Building Community
Since Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter in 2022, communities have fractured and community builders have found themselves in a challenging position. Do we stay on the platform now known as X, watching as Elon continues to deliver bad takes and advertisers pull out? Or do we start again, moving to a new platform and hope that we can reconnect with our existing followers.
It’s a tough position for many who have invested serious time and resources into community building – and one of the risks with third-party platforms.
There’s no one alternative that everyone has collectively agreed is the best to move to. Over the past year, Quiip has tested a number of the alternatives out to understand which options are suited to our own business, and our clients. Full disclosure, we didn’t settle on a clear winner and won’t be advising you to just one platform. Like all professional advice, it really depends on your objectives and current position. Mileage may vary!
However this is what we’ve found.
Created by former Twitter creator Jack Dorsey, Bluesky is the most elusive and coveted platform on the list, as it’s currently invite only. Still, it’s managed to hit over 2 million users, showing how big the demand for an alternative is. Bluesky is still limited in its features – it only just implemented the feature to read posts without needing a log in – and its invite only nature means it’s harder to get a hold of. But it is the one platform that feels the most like Twitter/X, where you can chat with friends, curate lists and custom feeds and discover the weird and wonderful hot takes from random people across the world.
|Open source and decentralised
|Invite only, with a large waitlist
|A publicly accessible roadmap of upcoming features.
|No DMs, gif or video support
|Curate multiple lists to create your own feeds
|Heavy reliance on automated and community driven moderation, which can lead to inherent biases
Mastodon is a decentralised network that describes itself as a “federated network which operates in a similar way to email.” If Bluesky is most similar to Twitter/X, Mastodon is the most different. In order to sign up, you must first choose a server (@aus.social is a common one for all the Aussies out there!). Thankfully, your chosen server doesn’t limit you on who you can follow, though it can be a little harder to find people from other servers.
|Open source and decentralised
|Steep learning curve when it comes to navigation of social platform
|Multiple servers to explore, each with their own unique rules and vibes
|Moderation practices depend on each server. While some might have strict practices, others may not
|Allows you to host your own server for private or small communities
|Smaller fractured communities, which takes a lot of time and investment to set up a thriving community
We won’t spend too much time on Threads as we’ve already published a comprehensive guide to the social platform but Threads is a companion app to Instagram, allowing you to sign up with your already existing Instagram account. This helps build your social media presence, allowing you to follow already existing followers from Instagram. Unlike the previous two platforms, Threads is algorithm based, with your feed showing you a mix of people you follow and accounts/content you may be interested in.
|Already existing social network thanks to Instagram connection
|Unable to delete Threads account without deleting Instagram account
|Discoverability thanks to the algorithm
|Limited features, no hashtags, DMs or large moderation toolset
|Powerful micro-blogging tool to foster community
|Isn’t ideal for social marketing or broadcast style posts
Rising to popularity at the end of 2022, Hive Social is an app only social media that works similarly to Twitter. It has the usual social media fanfare, follow friends, interact, direct message etc. However, its Discover page is where it differentiates itself from the rest. Hive Social breaks posts into categories such as ‘Gaming’, ‘Music’, ‘Art’ etc based on your interests that you declare upon signing up.
|Discover page is broken into categories based on your interests
|Accessible via iOS or Android app only, no web view
|No character limit on posts
|No transparency on who owns the company
|Good privacy controls, allows for posts to be tagged and filtered for NSFW content
|Despite hitting over 2 million users back in Dec 2022, it’s very quiet social platform
The final of the Twitter alternatives, it is also considerably different. Cohost is a web only social media that looks and feels a lot like Tumblr. Its microblogging platform makes it easy for users to share articles, writings, art and more giving it more of an alternative community feel. It’s the smallest of all the social platforms listed here, feeling the most intimate and ready for genuine discussion. But potentially discussion not many will see.
|Independently owned and committed to keeping the platform ad free
|Have to wait 24 hours to use the platform after signing up. This is to prevent spam and bots
|A large amount of accessibility settings including silencing content warnings, filtering tags and opting in or out of 18+ posts
|No suggested posts or default explore page, meaning you must manually search for community
|Ability to create multiple pages tied to one email address
|Still in development, so it’s possible to encounter site bugs
Still unsure about which platform to trial? We’re always happy to have a chat! If you or your team are looking for further platform consulting, just get in touch.