Writer Wednesday: New Horizons and Alternate Apps
Greetings and good morning authors and welcome to another Writer Wednesday. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and while I have many issues with the holiday, I am thankful for a roof over my head and food on my table. Now onto to business. Love it or hate it, Twitter has been going through some changes, or meltdowns depending on what story you read. There have been whispers of a full out collapse in the future and whether this proves to be true or not, the Blue Bird is not what it once was. Many creatives utilized this app for sharing work, connecting to others for business, and creating communities to support one another. With the current wobbly state of things, and many creatives having spent years cultivating a following on Twitter are now facing a dilemma to stick it out or start over from scratch. Both prospects are daunting especially because there is no clear equivalent that exists to match Twitters accessibility and reach. There are a few apps that are building towards that status but no clear cut winner for when the cards fall.
Wondering what is out there and what pros and cons you may encounter? Here is a brief overview of some current contenders.
New Horizons and Alternate Apps
Mastodon is a free and open source social media software that contains the same 'mini blogging' style as Twitter Tweets. System wide announcements known at 'Toots' keep users informed about happenings within the service. Mastodon is available in several languages and on several platforms with desktop support. The pro/ con of Mastodon comes down to its somewhat confusing server system and set up. Mastodon gives users the option to choose a server which allows them to connect with a likeminded community but makes forming wider connections a bit trickier since these servers are decentralized. Users can interact across servers in the interconnected Fediverse community but the extra steps and process could prove to be learning curve for some.
Hive social has emerged as another front runner for twitter ex pats. As one fellow creative quoted, Hive feels very much like 'Twitter and Instagram had a baby.' The app has a similar looking user interface to Twitter and features a chronological feed and self expression features such as profile gifs, profile music, banners, etc. The music option harkens back to MySpace vibes but Hive Social con comes in availability. The Hive Social App is available on IOS and Android but does not currently have desktop support. This may prove a larger hurdle for some more than others but might effect overall user interaction.
This one is a bit of a different option that the other two but may be a better choice for authors who have an established following. Substack is an alternate digital newsletter platform that provides publishing, payment, analytics, and design infrastructure. Users can send digital newsletters directly to subscribers, choose to make their subscription free or paid, and specify public posts for non subscribers to continue boosting their following. Substack seems like a solid alternative for newsletter platforms though may take some trial and error to grasp and produce organic growth. For the business side, it presents a solid option but lacks on the social.
Counter Social states that it is a social safe space and friendly. With a zero tolerance policy towards hostile nations and language, Counter Social touts itself as an ad free, bot free, and troll free zone. There is a similar tweet style format with 500 character space and the base line starts with a free version. Counter Social also has a rather unique Virtual Reality realms application and high gamer appeal, though might turn off some users from that front. How it may work from an author/ artist standpoint for sharing work could be really interesting but would need further exploration and a possible deep dive to form a full opinion.
Tried True After Blue
If a new platform feels insurmountable, Tumblr, Instagram, and Tik Tok are proving to be the fall back for many. Each site comes with pros and cons but remain strong spaces for authors to continue tinkering and growing their platform from. Some authors are choosing to stick it out on Twitter and see if the dust settles but no matter what you choose to do, remember that there are options out there for you and experimenting with them may be worth your time.