Since Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, there’s been a steady exodus from the platform. We’re all witnesses to his questionable decision-making and erratic, often inappropriate posts—and have seen first-hand how his behavior has created a rift with alienated users. And while this spells bad news for Musk, it creates a unique opportunity for competitors who long to take the throne and benefit off the gradual Twitter-pocalypse. (Even Meta is exploring its options.)
But how can companies position their brand as viable Twitter alternatives? What are some ways to appeal to suspicious and jaded users who’ve been burned by the billionaire, time and time again?
Here’s how three platforms are rising to the challenge with inventive messaging.
Decentralized social media communities are on the rise.
Decentralized systems are increasingly popular because they give power to the community rather than a central entity. Built on independent architecture—like blockchain—decentralized social networks offer users more agency over their data and activity. It’s one way people can counter censorship, but it also raises concerns on what they should be allowed to share.
Decentralized social media isn’t in the mainstream just yet. But with Elon constantly causing trouble in the public eye, many Twitter alternatives have surfaced and caught the attention of curious internet users.
Mastodon, one of the more popular Twitter alternatives, markets itself as “social media that’s not for sale.” It isn’t afraid to make digs at Twitter and its curated algorithm, a feature many users may find inauthentic and isolating. Point-blank, the website goes on to say, “Your home feed should be filled with what matters to you most, not what a corporation thinks you should see. Radically different social media, back in the hands of the people.”
Mastodon presents an incredibly enticing sanctuary for tweeters who no longer feel comfortable on Musk’s platform. To join the community, users browse and select servers that contain their interests. Every server is kept accountable with rules established by the members themselves, helping to foster a more democratic form of moderation. People can follow and engage with others’ posts within each respective space, or even create their own without losing their existing connections. It offers the freedom and autonomy that Twitter lacks.
Aside from being endorsed by Jack Dorsey, Blue Sky reportedly boasted a 1.2 million waiting list shortly after Musk’s Twitter takeover. With a confident and knowledgeable voice, its website forms a bridge between the past and present, reminding users of the beauty of simplicity while weaving in allusions to the potential of innovation:
The web. Email. RSS feeds. XMPP chats. What all these technologies had in common is they allowed people to freely interact and create content, without a single intermediary. We’re building the AT Protocol, a new foundation for social networking which gives creators independence from platforms, developers the freedom to build, and users a choice in their experience.
Like Mastodon, Blue Sky operates as another decentralized network with an interface that strongly resembles the chirpy social media giant. As of now, it isn’t open for public use, but its recent appearance in the App Store suggests it may be preparing for an official launch—and it’s already built a foundation to get people excited.
The old ways might be worth a revisit.
Sometimes, it’s best to go back to what’s tried and true. For many, Twitter is no longer a safe or engaging space—whether because of its new CEO or a culture that breeds hate and misinformation, or both. And while some resort to new, decentralized Twitter alternatives for their social media fill, others are returning to the old and familiar.
In November 2022, Tumblr’s chief executive revealed that iOS and Android downloads were up more than 50%, with a noticeable increase in impressions as well. Its official Twitter account took advantage of this abrupt growth by posting a series of teasing tweets that poked fun at Twitter and its unpopular features.
From posts like “You control your feed. If you don’t want to see algorithmic recommendations, just turn them off.” to “We have an edit button (and it’s free),” Tumblr listed more than 20 reasons to elevate itself as a contender—and soaked its self-promotion with good-natured humor. For the most part, users received the tweets with enthusiasm.
More than ever, audiences crave positive and genuine connections. They want consistent, reliable voices to reflect their favorite brands and companies. If Twitter continues to stay stuck in the clouds, its competitors will be more than happy to stay humbly grounded—because that’s where the people need them.
Ready to establish long-lasting trust with your audience? Contact MarketSmiths to get started.