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Twitter is going to the dogs. Wait, I mean “X” is going to the dogs. No matter what you call the platform, things have gotten ugly since since Elon Musk took over last October. Musk has made too many questionable decisions to list here, but the lowlights include reinstating the accounts of banned Nazis, charging $8 a month for blue checkmarks that formerly verified a person’s identity and now verify that they have an extra $8 a month, limiting the number of tweets users can see each day, and, this past weekend, ditching a universally recognized brand name in favor of a moniker right out of the X-treme ‘90s.

In other words, it’s time to go. But go where?

There is no single social media platform that does everything Twitter does (or used to do) while eliminating its worst features, but there are a number of up-and-coming alternatives that provide at least some aspect of the Twitter experience and/or remove some of the things you hate the most. Here are 10 of the best Twitter-like networks that could become your new online home.


Screenshot of Mastodon homepage

Screenshot: Mastodon

In place of Twitter/X’s profit-driven, top-down organization, Mastodon is open-source, decentralized, and non-profit. Rather than throwing us all in the same melting pot, the social media network lets anyone create or join an independent server. Once you’ve found a server that suits your interests (or chosen the default “Mstdn” server), you can communicate with and follow members of other servers too. This creates a “Twitter like” user experience that’s also de-centralized and Musk-free.

The pros of Mastadon

  • Little top-down moderation: Individualized servers each moderate content in their own way, so there’s no authority that can suddenly decide Nazis viewpoints are OK. Instead, you can choose a server with moderation policies that suit your needs and tastes, from “everything (legal) goes” to “no content from anyone outside this server.”
  • More customizable content curation: the content on your feed is not curated by an unknowable algorithm with motives you do not understand. Instead, you have three feeds: “home” (post from people you follow), “local” (posts from users on your server) and “federated” (all posts from all users.) organized by time-of-post, like Twitter when it was good.
  • Connection with other social networks: Mastadon is part of the Fediverse, a group of federated social networking services that might soon include Threads. So you’re not locked to only communicating to people on Mastadon.
  • Musk free: If your problem with Twitter is the autocratic control Elon Musk has over your (and everyone else’s) media consumption, Mastodon might be the network for you.

The cons of Mastadon

  • Smaller user base: Mastodon has around 10 million registered users, whereas Twitter has around 350 million, so if you like the idea of a being on a platform that everyone else uses, that’s not Mastodon. At least not yet.
  • More complicated: User-customizable experiences are great in theory, but you have to think about them, and lots of people already have enough to worry about it. If your attitude is, “Just shove some memes in front of my eyeballs,” Mastodon will do a lot less shoving.

How to sign up for Mastodon

To sign up for Mastodon, you can visit the website or download the Mastodon app from the Apple store or Google Play store.

Screenshot of homepage


If you use Twitter to keep up with current events, Post might be the social media network for you. Users there can write and share posts, comment, like, and follow others, just as you would expect. But Post is really a way for publishers to monetize their content. It’s built around a micro-payment system that allows users to buy individual news articles.

The pros of Post

  • Consume the news you choose: Post gives you a way to pay for individual articles from media sources like Fortune, NBC News, Politico, ProPublica, Reuters, and others that are often behind paywalls, so you don’t have to subscribe to the The Boston Globe to read that one article.
  • Less “fluff”: There’s less memes and jokes than many other social media networks.
  • Ad free news reading: Even if a news source is free on the web, paying for it on Post allows you to have an ad-free, noticeably less annoying experience, and consume all your news sources on a single feed.
  • A chance to make money: Users can take advantage of a “tipping” system to finally get paid for being witty and knowledgable.

The cons of Post

  • It’s new. Post’s beta was released in 2022, and it launched for iPhones on June 15, so it’s hard to tell how the actual experience will play out over time.
  • The cost: Eight cents or so for a news article doesn’t seem overburdening, but there’s something about paying anything for information on the internet that rubs many people the wrong way.
  • Potential moderation challenges Allowing users to set up their own payment systems could encourage the most alarming, click-baity kind of content. If Post takes off, the moderation system will have to thread the needle between “we welcome every voice” and “well, not actually this voice” in a way that has proven quite difficult for platforms in the past.

How to sign up for Post

To join the Post network, visit the sign-up webpage or download the app from the App Store.

Instagram Threads

Screenshot of Threads app homepage

Screenshot: Threads

If you don’t like Twitter, but want a social media network that’s like Twitter, Meta’s Threads might be the choice for you. Threads just launched this summer, and its main difference from Twitter seems to be that it’s run by a different billionaire. You’ll be able to post things, comment, like things, message people, yadda-yadda.

One difference that might prove interesting: Meta promises that users will have more control over their content by giving them choices in how the Threads algorithm populates feeds. So if you trust Meta’s word on serving their users’ interests, (and why wouldn’t you?) it might provide a less horrific experience than Twitter. For now, though, users’ feeds are populated by content that the algorithm thinks you’ll like, and you can’t limit your feed to just the accounts you follow.

The pros of Threads

  • It’s not Twitter: The idea seems to be “make it like Twitter, but with Mark Zuckerberg.”
  • A large number of users: The connection with Instagram meant a huge number of users out of the gate—around 118 million as of this post.
  • Future plans for linking with other networks: It hasn’t happened yet, but Threads says it wants to be part of the “Fediverse,” a linked series of social networks including Mastadon so users can widen their network.
  • Stability: Threads has been stable since launch, even when dealing with hundreds of millions of new accounts; it has the knowledge and money of Meta behind it.

The cons of Threads

  • Non-organic growth: Because Threads sprang into existence fully born with tons of users from Instagram, engagement over the longterm is anything but assured. It’s already dropped off precipitously.
  • It’s a Twitter-clone from the makers of Facebook. While Meta chief product officer Chris Cox reportedly said the platform will be “sanely run,” even prelaunch, the service’s privacy problems have drawn criticism: No less august a personage than Twitter founder Jack Dorsey posted a screenshot of the data that may be collected by Threads, including health and financial information, your contacts and location, and that ominous catchall, “sensitive info.” No bueno.
  • Deletion problems: You can’t fully delete your Threads account without deleting your Instagram. There are ways to hide/delete all your Threads activity, but not delete your account.

How to sign-up for Threads

From your Instagram account, you’ll see a Threads logo that you can use to sign up and download the app.

Bluesky Social

Bluesky screenshot

Screenshot: Bluesky Social

Spun out of Twitter with the blessing of the company’s former CEO, Jack Dorsey, Bluesky Social is a decentralized social media platform that aims to give users more control over the content they create and what they see in their feeds.

The Pros of Bluesky Social

  • Portability of content: It hasn’t fully launched yet, so how this will work in real life isn’t fully known, but one of Bluesky’s selling points is being able to take all your posts, friends, messages, and more with you when some crazy person takes over Bluesky.
  • Decentralized: Bluesky’s decentralized organization will make it harder to collect and sell your data, serve ads to you, and otherwise be awful—in theory anyway. Since Bluesky hasn’t launched yet, it’s hard to tell how it will work in practice.
  • Experience: Jack Dorsey is behind it, and he created Twitter.

The cons of Bluesky Social 

  • Complexity: Decentralized social media networks sound like a great idea, but many users just don’t care, and are looking for an experience that’s as easy-to-use possible. There is a very real possibility that Bluesky will only be used by tech-heads, media folks, and others with a special interest, and never break into the mainstream. That means a smaller audience, leading to less use, and that familiar swirling-down-the-drain phenomenon many “hot new thing” social networks have suffered in the past.
  • About that portability… Bluesky Social is not part of the Fediverse, so you won’t be able to migrate anywhere. Just to platforms with same technology behind Bluesky.

How to sign up for Bluesky Social

Bluesky social hasn’t launched to the public yet, but if you visit the official site, you can sign up for the waitlist. You can also beg for an invite code on Twitter or buy one on eBay for about $20.


Image for article titled The 10 Best Twitter (or X) Alternatives

Screenshot: Spill

Yet to formally launch, the social media network Spill is already making waves. The platform first went viral in response to Musk’s decision to rate-limit Twitter’s users. Spill has a unique vibe—the name references “spilling the tea” (ie: gossiping), and it eschews social media’s usual “appeal to everyone” philosophy.

The pros of Spill

  • Moderation: Spill plans to take serious steps to moderate hate and create a more friendly platform for diverse users.
  • Unique voice: According to its creators, ex-Twitter employees Alphonzo “Phonz” Terrell and DeVaris Brown, Spill will foster a safe atmosphere for “culture drivers” to thrive, or, as Kemi Marie tweeted, “The Spill app is Black as fuck. I love that.”

The cons of Spill

  • I can’t get in: I have no doubt the content already being posted to Spill is more interesting than Twitter, but for now, Spill isn’t open to the public. It’s invite-only, so if you don’t know someone, you can’t get in. File it under “intriguing possibility.”

How to sign up for Spill

You can’t. You can join the Spill waitlist, though.


Tumblr screenshot

Sometimes to go forward, you need to go backwards. The implosion of Twitter is prompting many to reunite with old school micro-blogging social network Tumblr. It’s been around since 2007, so it’s hardly cutting edge, but if you want to share photos, words, or videos, you could do way worse than Tumblr.

The pros of Tumblr

  • Established user base: Tumblr boast over 547 million monthly users, so you should be able to easily find a community that’s into your thing, no matter what that thing is.
  • Customization: Tumblr lets you control the look of your blog and customize your feed on a granular level.
  • Now allows nudity (again): Tumblr has reversed a 2018 decision to ban nudity, though it’s reportedly not the wild west it once was.

The cons of Tumblr

  • Established user base: Tumblr’s 547 million users have created a unique culture that might seem strange or impenetrable to newcomers.
  • Customization: Many people don’t want to mess around with the way their page looks—it’s a whole “thing” that can be complicated, so many people just don’t want to get into it.
  • Previously banned nudity: Unilaterally nuking an entire content area that once was very popular on the network indicates a top-down control that many users (and former users) are not comfortable with.

How to sign up for Tumblr

Try to remember your old password from 2010. Or you can go to Tumblr’s homepage and hit “sign me up” on the popup window.


Image for article titled The 10 Best Twitter (or X) Alternatives

Launched in February of 2023, Spoutible was created by Christopher Bouzy, the founder of Twitter analytics service Bot Sentinel. It launched in February 2023 with the mission to “fix everything wrong with Twitter.”

The pros of Spoutible

  • Strong moderation: If you want a safer space, Spoutible is dedicated to better security. Bots, trolls, and targeted hate are swiftly handled.
  • Familiar: If you like Twitter’s look and feel, Spoutible is a dead-on “homage.”
  • Chance to be an early user: If you like being on the ground floor, sign up just so you can say “I was on Spoutible back in ‘23, son” if it takes off.

The cons of Spoutible

  • Small user base: There are currently less than a quarter million users of Spoutible.
  • Very DIY: This site is 100% tied to its founder, so its funding and support don’t come close to the larger networks.

How to sign up for Spoutible

Go to the Spoutible homepage, hit “sign up.” (Then visit my Spoutible account and become my first ever Spoutible friend.)


LinkedIn screenshot

LinkedIn is a business and employment-centric social media platform, but you can use it for more than posting your resume. They are not the boss of you, so you can and should flood LinkedIn with cat memes and shitposts. Although consider that the actual boss-of-you will probably see them.

The pros of LinkedIn

  • Professional development: If you’re looking for career advancement through an online network, this is the place.
  • Larger user base: There are around 930 million people on LinkedIn.

The cons of LinkedIn

  • Privacy issues: LinkedIn will show people if you view their profiles, so the assistant to the vice president of marketing will know you’re stalking their profile.
  • Too much spam: LinkedIn is full of recruiters, marketers, and various other kinds of professional lowlifes, and they will try to interact with you.
  • Expensive: Basic usage is free, but other kinds of memberships can cost a lot. The cheapest “premium” LinkedIn membership is $29.99 a month. The most expensive, intended for recruiters, is $8,999 a year—all that just to see my cat memes!

How to sign up for LinkedIn

Navigate to LinkedIn’s mainpage and hit “join.” Fill in your resume. Wait for your dream job to appear.


Discord screenshot

Discord is not the same kind of social media platform as Twitter or Threads. It’s geared toward messaging, either voice or chat, and the look and feel is a lot like Slack. But Discord lets users set up servers around their interests too. Servers can be either private or public, and some public servers have millions of users who can post, chat, and do all kinds of other social media things—even leak national security documents.

Pros of Discord

  • Gaming friends galore: If you would like a “social network” to find people to play Minecraft with, Discord is for you.
  • Freedom from the masses: Discord is great for people who don’t like being part of the larger cultural conversation.

Cons of Discord

  • It’s complicated: It’s not rocket-science complicated, but Discord requires users take a few steps beyond “sign up and start posting.” (It’s a lot like Mastodon in that regard.)
  • Younger users: If you’re looking for mature conversation, Discord’s gamer-heavy general user base isn’t likely to provide much of it, so you’ll have to hunt for your people.

How to sign up for Discord

Download the Discord app on your desktop, iPhone, or Android. Create your account and verify your phone number.


CounterSocial Screenshot

Created by hacktivist JΞSŦΞR ✪ ΔCŦUΔL (no, really), CounterSocial is “built to counter threats found on traditional mainstream platforms including bots, trolls, disinformation campaigns, and foreign influence operation.” It’s been quietly operating below-the-radar since 2017.

Pros of CounterSocial

  • Fewer annoyances: There are no ads, bots, or foreign intelligence operations. I mean, so they say.
  • It’s elite: Your aunt is not signing up to CounterSocial.

Cons of CounterSocial

  • It’s small: There are only about 160,000 users on the service
  • It’s a one-man-operation: It’s cool that an hacker started his own social media network, but that means it’s dependent on one person’s whims. While it’s lasted over five years, JΞSŦΞR could close up shop tomorrow.

How to sign up for CounterSocial

Sign up for CounterSocial on the website, or download the iPhone or Android app.

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