Ever since news broke that Tesla CEO Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion, users on Twitter have been freaking out about the fate of their favorite social media platform.
Many are expressing a desire to leave the service, mainly due to the behavior of Musk on Twitter, with many flocking to a newish platform called Mastodon in recent weeks.
They have reasonable fears that the service could, under his direction, stray too far from what it is today and shift to some of Musk's interests like NFTs and cryptocurrency. However, his mass-firing of the company's workforce, and his plan for its subscription platform, Twitter Blue, has already sped up users leaving already. And that was before Twitter's third-party apps started breaking.
Yet many others are asking where they could go, instead. With this in mind, here are three platforms that could scratch the Twitter itch.
This is Twitter if it was open-source, and there were multiple instances of the social platform.
You can join servers on Mastodon that can be seen as different communities, although it can at times be confusing to tell which one you're in.
We've dipped our toe (opens in new tab) into the platform and, compared to Twitter, it's currently a challenge in trying to join a server due to the number of new users in the last few months.
It's inspired by the layout of Twitter, but you can also explore news and hashtags, then follow and 'boost', Mastodon's take on retweets, as you wish.
Due to the platform ironically trending on Twitter after the news broke of Musk buying the company, alongside his plan of charging $8 / £8 / AU$9 for a blue tick, an army of new users marched over to Mastadon, which is now struggling to support them, which may be why we've also been unable to sign into its Android and iOS apps (opens in new tab) as well.
Once thought to be an app to only talk about your favorite games as you streamed on Twitch, it's grown into a place where you can create a 'Server' to discuss almost any topic you wish.
First launched in 2015, Discord (opens in new tab) allows you to be a part of communities over text, voice, and video, as long as you join the relevant Servers and abide by their rules. If you used to take part in forums on certain websites in the early 00s, you'll feel at home here. Those old forums also focused on topics where you could create your own threads and posts about related subjects.
The same rings true for Discord, but in a way that allows you to keep in touch with users through, say, video. It also integrates with Steam, Xbox, and your PlayStation profile, so you can let others know what games you're playing.
Think of this as a bulletin-board website (opens in new tab) full of news and posts created by its users. You can 'upvote' and 'downvote' these posts, and these will be displayed in a rising list of 'subreddits' that will show you how popular the posts are with others.
While it's not a scrolling feed of people you follow, you can follow subreddits and your home page will give you a curated list of all of those topics, based on how new and popular they are across the day.
There are also third-party apps you can use for Reddit which are available on iOS and Android, such as Apollo - these bring features that are unavailable for the official app (opens in new tab), such as a gallery view.
With over 450 million users on the site, it's unlikely you'll find a topic that hasn't been covered or doesn't have its own subreddit.