social media platforms

Twitter alternatives: Mastodon, Reddit, Discord, and 6 more

Gelo Gonzales
Twitter alternatives: Mastodon, Reddit, Discord, and 6 more

MASTODON. The social media site is gaining popularity as some users look for Twitter alternatives

Photo by Gelo Gonzales/Rappler

Looking to fly away from Musk's version of Twitter?

MANILA, Philippines – Tired of all that noise on Twitter after new CEO Elon Musk’s arrival? Obviously, it’s not the only platform in town. But beyond Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, what other platforms are there that can satisfy your thirst for quick, real-time information? Here are a few: 

The more established names

1. Reddit

Reddit is known for its forum-like structure that allows like-minded individuals to converge on a topic via “subreddits.” If you’re looking to discuss a new show’s episode or the latest pop album release, Reddit’s often as good a place as Twitter to get real-time reviews and discussions. 

2. Tumblr

While it was launched way back in 2007, Tumblr has managed to stay afloat with more blog-like features complemented by social media elements. 

3. Discord 

Discord is very popular among gamers, and has been a go-to social media/chat site for tech-savvy users. Users can become a member of a channel, and within each channel, there are specific rooms that they can be a part of. 

4. Clubhouse

Clubhouse was the social media app that had other bigger social media companies attempting to integrate live audio rooms into their apps. Twitter has one called “Spaces.” Clubhouse lets users open a virtual room where users can start discussions. 

The upstarts 

5. Mastodon 

How it describes itself: “Social networking that’s not for sale. 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.” 

It’s currently the top item in many articles listing the top Twitter alternatives at the moment, because of a feed similar to Twitter, while posts are called “toots.” The difference is that you pick a server based on topic or language on which to log on, similar to the gamer-centric Discord, as opposed to one big room like Twitter. 

“‘Once you pick your server or ‘homeroom,’ as I’ve come to think of it, you can create a profile, upload photos and video and post ‘toots’ – Mastodon’s version of tweets – messages of up to 500 characters. It’s best to use hashtags so that other people can find your ‘toots,’ and you’ll see it all unfold on a timeline similar to Twitter,” USA Today writes

6. uSync

uSync’s promise: “An entirely new social experience awaits.”

Unlike most social media platforms, it’s a paid service at $3.99 – a one-time fee. For user content, it has a “Story” area where people can post longer content, while “Scribbles” are for shorter ones. 

In an interview with USA Today, CEO Daryll Lynn said: “We want to be ad free, we want to see great work and not be beholden to a third party.

We don’t need a billion people on the platform to offer a great experience, we just want to be able to continue the work to drive the progressiveness forward and take advantage of all the great tech out there to make your life better and make it simple and easy at the same time.”

7. CounterSocial 

Its tagline: “A unique social network. No trolls. No abuse. No ads. No fake-news. No foreign influence operations.”

It looks to be quite the ambitious social network, promising a deepfake video detector, anti-bot software, identity breach alerts made possible by a software that constantly checks the dark web for stolen online identities, and markings that users know of a site’s veracity. Its official site though doesn’t look quite as polished as current mainstream social media sites. 

8. Cohost

Cohost promises that it “will never sell your data, sell ads, or sell the company to anyone who might change these policies to make a quick buck,” and makes use of human-steered content moderation and a feed arranged chronologically and not through a content algorithm. How does it make money? It says, “for now, you can give us a few bucks a month to help us keep the lights on. Soon we’ll let you take tips and sell subscriptions to help you keep the lights on too.”

Variety describes its interface as something that “seems to be a cross between Tumblr and Twitter.” 

9. Tribel 

Tribel calls itself the kinder, smarter social network. Its App Store page says, “A new grassroots social network is finally here, one that has safeguards in place that will put morality, truth, and We the People first – and has innovative new features that will lead social media towards a brighter, better future.” 

Variety says that on the app, “Users are also able to select a target audience for posts to maximize engagement, find topic experts quickly and get the opportunity to become a ‘star contributor’ based on the quality of posts and number of likes. But USA Today also notes that they are “worried that it’s already being looked at like the left-leaning version of Truth Social.” Truth Social is the social media app by former US president Donald Trump’s Trump Media and Technology Group. 

Bonus: Bluesky 

It’s in a very early stage, and is currently not available to users, but it’s a platform to keep an eye on. It was launched by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey in 2019 as a non-profit initiative, which aims to develop a decentralized social network protocol that would allow different social networks to interface with each other. It’s being funded by Twitter though, so it remains to be seen whether Musk will continue the project. – Rappler.com

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.