We have written so much on the anxiety Musk’s Twitter takeover is causing brands, advertisers and users. While many experts recommend staying on the app simply to maintain customer relationships and check in on customer feedback, we understand that many are looking for alternative platforms.
Have you heard of Hive Social? It’s a microblogging site and similarly to Twitter, users create profiles and user handles, and can share text, images, GIFs, polls and other posts with their followers. Feeds are posted chronologically rather than by algorithm. The app boasts over 1.5 million users with its first version having launched on iPhone in October 2019, followed by a beta version for Android in November 2022.
According to Baruch Labunski, CEO of Rank Secure, Hive “is great for users but makes small businesses work harder for organic content”. Nevertheless, the app is helpful for small businesses to get in front of a new audience. While the iPhone version runs smoothly, there have been several reports of many Android users’ frustration with the app frequently crashing.
If you’ve been Google searching for Twitter alternatives, you have likely come across Mastodon. The German app is a decentralised social network made up of independent servers that are organised by specific topics or interests. Its microblogging features make it an easy comparison to Twitter. Considering that Twitter is the app for the web3 community, Mastodon’s decentralised approach is likely to be the way forward.
However, while Mastodon has similar news feeds, trends, hashtags and communities of interest like Twitter, Abe Kasbo, CEO of Verasoni Worldwide, noted that the site is clumsy and hard to navigate. On the other hand, Zak Saidi, owner of social media marketing agency IZSRI, explained Mastodon could be gold for advertisers — if it adds an offering in the future. “It provides a powerful opportunity to target key decision-making staff across every industry,” he said. “If Mastodon keeps up momentum (and fixes its 2008-esque interface) then it can stand as a serious competitor to the serious side of Twitter.”
Again, if you’ve been involved with Twitter’s web3 and NFT communities at any point you’ll know that Discord is one of its community pillars. Discord was originally built for gamers and has since built out its use by adding other types of communities including web3. The platform professes to be a voice, video and text chat app that enables users to talk and hang out with their communities and friends. It boasts 150 million users and so is a big boy in the social platform game.
While word on the street is Discord doesn’t have any ad offerings and doesn’t plan to, there is always its advertising platform for brands called Discord Advertiser, which allows businesses to advertise their products and services to Discord users through sponsored messages and banner ads.
Discord is more of a discussion platform than a promotional, social media platform so may be one for the niche communities to consider.
Finally, Reddit might be the answer to our Twitter alternative dreams. I think it’s easy to underestimate how influential this platform is if you’re not directly engaged with it. Having run for over seventeen years, the platform boasts 52 million users.
If you aren’t directly engaged with the platform, it is considered a social news website — not dissimilar to Twitter — but where stories are curated and promoted by its users. Reddit has certainly built out its ads platform to make marketers’ experience more pleasant, while introducing more alphas, betas and newer ad formats, as Digiday previously reported.
Something for marketers to consider, however, is that while Reddit is akin to Twitter with regards to its text nature, the platform has already had issues around brand safety, which has undoubtedly become a priority for it. Another thing to consider is that the majority of Reddit tend to dislike brand presences on their platform and there have been where brands have tried to activate on Reddit but can be met with a surge of downvotes and ‘silence brand’ rhetoric.