Want to leave Twitter? Here are 3 cool alternatives to ess

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(Pocket-lint) – There’s a lot happening on Twitter right now. Elon Musk took over, laid off thousands of employees, and makes changes (and rollbacks) on an almost daily basis. It’s pure chaos, really. If you’re not comfortable with what’s happening on Twitter for any reason, you can simply choose to use another platform instead.

The best alternatives to Twitter

Here are three unique Twitter alternatives. We didn’t just list the most popular social networks. We actually found a variety of sites with a similar experience or vibe to Twitter.

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Mastodon

Mastodon is a free social media site that works like Twitter. You can post “toots” (instead of tweets), follow other users and brands, as well as favor (like) and boost (retweet) posts. It is an open-source, decentralized social networking platform. It was created by Eugen Rochko, the CEO and sole employee of the non-profit organization Mastodon gGmbH.

Being decentralized, it allows users to create, host and moderate their own communities, or “instances”, which can interact with each other through a system called Fediverse.

Popular instances include PeerTube for videos, Funkwhale for music, PixelFed for photos, and NextCloud for files. Perhaps the most famous example of Mastodon is Truth Social, aka “social network” of former US President Donald Trump. There is no standard Mastodon space for everyone, like for Twitter. So you have to sign up for a specific instance of Mastodon, which can be based on geographic location, topic, or whatever. You can subscribe to as many instances as you want and leave or switch instances at any time.

And you can follow people in multiple instances, so choosing one doesn’t prevent you from interacting with those in other instances.


CounterSocial

CounterSocial launched in November 2017, with its infrastructure based on open-source code from Mastodon (another platform we recommend). CounterSocial is unique because it has a zero-tolerance policy against trolls, spam bots, disinformation campaigns, harassment, and foreign political influence. The pseudo hacktivist known as “The Jester” started CounterSocial because he said he was tired of misinformation – so he built a controlled or walled-off social network where everything could be moderated.

As of August 2022, the site has approximately 100,000 users and, according to its founder, continues to experience steady growth.

So why is it like Twitter? If you’ve used Tweetdeck before, CounterSocial’s columnar interface will be instantly recognizable. You can remove, rearrange, or create columns, and they can be based on hashtags, user lists, and topics. If you are a free user, you can follow, like, share and comment on posts and replies. You’ll need to pay for a pro account ($5 per month) to access other premium features, such as changing your status and the ability to “blast” your messages.


Cohost

Cohost is currently in beta. It is an ad-free social media platform co-founded by Colin Bayer and Jae Kaplan. It first rolled out to select users in February 2022.

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With Cohosts, messages are placed in a vertical timeline, just like on Twitter. But instead of being fed by algorithms, posts are always listed in the order they were posted. The site looks like a classic blog site. Messages are not limited to the number of characters and it is possible to create several pages for different themes or projects. You can create a co-owned page that many people can use, similar to podcasts. The co-host offers a subscription to unlock premium features – like larger downloads – and promises to “never sell your data.”

You don’t need an invitation to join Cohost. But if you don’t have an invite, you’re just a sneak peek and might wait “a day or two” before posting.


Want more Twitter alternatives?

Here are some other options – but these are more popular, and you’ve probably tried them:

Tumblr: It’s more of a long-form blog-like content, with the ability to share media like photos, videos, and GIFs.

LinkedIn: It’s geared more toward professionals who want to network, but it has a newsfeed and allows users to follow each other and share posts, photos, videos, polls, and more.

Discord: Leading social media site with more than 150 million monthly active users. But there is no news feed. There are chat rooms where you can communicate by voice or video call.

club house: More for people who love Twitter Spaces. It allows you to host live audio chat rooms. The clubhouse became famous at the height of the pandemic.

Written by Maggie Tillman.

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