Leaving Twitter? Three Alternatives for Social Media Platforms
Thinking about leaving Twitter? You’re not alone. But what are the best options to stay connected on social media — without feeling completely lost or choosing political sides? These three alternatives are proving popular so far.
Mastodon: Mastodon has been a favorite for many who are leaving Twitter because the formats are similar. Mastodon’s “toots” are a lot like Twitter “tweets” that you can share with others, but with 500 characters instead of Twitter’s 280 characters — and your “toots” can be edited.
The main difference is that you don’t sign up with one big site. Mastodon is open-source, so it isn’t owned by a single company like Twitter. Instead, it has a lot of separate servers that are owned by users. Each of those servers has a theme, or “instance”, of different interests. So whether you like science fiction or psychology, food or football, there’s an “instance” for you. Browse through the servers and pick one that suits you. You can change servers whenever you like. The idea is that your server will guide you toward things that interest you.
Hashtags are more important on Mastodon than on Twitter. Twitter has an algorithm to push posts to the top. But on Mastodon, hashtags are the fastest way to get your content seen by more people. So get used to hitting the # button as you get started.
With so many new signups, some servers are closed to new members. And the platform itself has had a few slowdowns as it adjusts to a much larger number of users. But if you want to keep that Twitter-style vibe, Mastodon is a great choice.
Instagram: At first, Instagram might not seem like an obvious choice over Twitter, since it’s visually based (mostly pictures and videos with accompanying text) rather than text-based. But Instagram has a few advantages.
For people who want an easy signup, Instagram is a single site, like Twitter — no choosing servers or interests. Instagram is owned by Meta (which also owns Facebook), so the platform itself is robust. And many people already have Instagram accounts, so the transition is relatively seamless.