In response to the events that have taken place at a shocking rate on Twitter in the last 48 hours, the calls to leave the platform for others are at a fever pitch leaving many scrambling. I keep getting asked for my thoughts on an accessible Twitter alternative, so here they are.
If you are looking for a 1:1 Twitter clone, which is what people seem to be after asking me my thoughts, then sorry to say you are out of luck. If you are looking for a Twitter alternative, depending on what is important to you, that is possible.
People want to keep their current audience numbers and growth, current and potential opportunities, dopamine hits, ease of use, accessibility and security (before November 4th), social community, etc., with little disruption. None of the platforms touted as Twitter replacements have all this and would take time to replicate, even if those platforms wanted to do so. The fact is that these social media platforms exist in the antithesis of Twitter. Most of their current users don’t want them to “be Twitter.”
Twitter hasn’t been even close to the Twitter of the present for the majority of its existence. My early usage is memories of the constant ’Fail Whale’ page and segmented and clumsy presentations. I quit Twitter due to the disappointing experience, only coming back at the end of 2018 and using it sparingly until 2020, when it became my outlet during the quarantine.
The level of accessibility that Twitter has now has only been possible in the past 2 -3 years due to a dedicated accessibility team being hired after a decade-plus of existence. Before that, accessibility was highly rough; remember that it was possible to set your Twitter account’s color scheme and background image on the web app.
I will continue to use Twitter for the foreseeable future. I have enjoyed things about it (and have equal amounts I dislike), but I am not looking to replace it even if I end up deleting my account (I suspect I will get suspended before that happens).
There will not be another Twitter. Whatever might take over Twitter in popularity will be its own entity, for better or worse even if it has features similar to Twitter.
Instead of looking for a Twitter clone, this time would be better focused on discussing potential future social media platforms’ effect on our culture and society and what we seek from them as dominant institutions in the digital informational age—also, put forth the foundations that these platforms can even be built instead of what is happening in the current environment where existing large enterprises acquire, crush, or limit any hint of potential competition.