Since Elon Musk came into control, Twitter has, for many users, seemed like a ship that is going to capsize.
Some people are unsure about the future of the social media platform, or more specifically, their own destiny on the site, as a result of unpopular measures like the reinstatement of accounts belonging to far-right leaders, the banning of journalists who are critical of Musk, and the unexpected mass firings of workers.
As a result, Twitter users have begun exploring the whereabouts of the lifeboats and donning life jackets, much as someone on a sinking ship would.
Many users have gone to other social networking platforms to maintain their Twitter following, creating new accounts and linking them to their Twitter profiles.
On October 28, the day Musk’s acquisition was officially announced, searches for “Twitter alternatives” skyrocketed throughout the globe.
According to Google’s data, Germany, Ireland, and the UK had the highest volume of searches. Several competing social networking platforms have arisen as potential rivals.
Mastodon seems to have attracted the most “buzz” as a result of several well-known and essential profiles, like Greta Thunberg (77k followers) and Stephen Fry (91k followers on his new account), who both adopted the new platform.
Hive Social is another well-liked substitute, helped by its Gen Z-friendly user experience. Although none of the alternative platforms now under consideration is brand-new, Mastodon and Hive Social were relatively unknown before October.
Others have established a reputation for themselves by advertising their platforms as safe spaces for free expression.
This includes Truth Social, which Donald Trump founded after being suspended from Twitter in January 2021, and Parler, which rapper Kanye West tried to purchase before the transaction was officially abandoned soon after he made a series of antisemitic remarks and declared there are “a lot of things I admire about Hitler.”
How concerned should Twitter be about these competitors, then?
The popularity of these sites before and after Musk’s takeover during 50 days reveals the truth of this social media competition.
Data on how frequently these applications have been downloaded in the UK and other countries have been provided to Sky News by the mobile data analytics company data.ai.
In terms of UK downloads of Twitter, Mastodon, Hive Social, Truth Social, and Parler, the dates of November 4 and 17 were noteworthy, with Mastodon and Hive Social download numbers occasionally outpacing those of Twitter.
The initial hiccup followed the end of October firing of a sizable portion of Twitter’s personnel. Users who supported Musk’s plan to review the site’s moderation guidelines also flooded the site with racist and hateful postings.
It also happened when it was revealed that Twitter users could pay to have a “blue tick” added to their profile. Previously, accounts that were prominent or trustworthy in some way were designated with this emblem.
Mastodon and Hive Social saw a spike in popularity in the middle of November, following the suspension of the “blue tick” improvements due to problems, the warning to Twitter workers to commit to a new “hardcore” Twitter or resign, and a series of stories promoting other applications.