Here is a non-exhaustive list of the main alternative destinations.

Bluesky is gaining momentum

The social network Bluesky, backed by co-founder and former Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, is growing in popularity.

According to the Forbes magazine website, citing data from the firm, the Bluesky application has been downloaded 360,000 times and currently points ahead of some popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Bing or Zoom in the ranking of the App Store, the Apple store.

Originally created and funded by Twitter in 2019, under Jack Dorsey, Bluesky arrived on smartphones two months ago.

The platform is similar to Twitter but it is decentralized, like Mastodon: it is therefore possible to create separate applications and not all content can be controlled by a single entity.

It is, for the moment, accessible by invitation only. The waiting list has more than a million candidates, according to Forbes.

Several personalities have recently joined the platform, including Democratic House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and model Chrissy Teigen, who each have more than ten million followers on Twitter.

Mastodon struggles to convince

Little known to the general public, Mastodon is experiencing a spike in popularity among Internet users concerned about the future of Twitter, including journalists, university professors and other professionals.

Created in 2016 by German developer Eugen Rochko, the site presents itself as "a free and open source decentralized social network" without any advertising.

Concretely, it allows each user to join, according to his interests, the community of his choice, which establishes its own rules.

Mastodon consists of a network of thousands of independent servers. Members can interact as long as the moderation rules of their respective servers are compatible.

But the unintuitive operation of the social network and the moderation of content left to the sole discretion of group administrators is not suitable for everyone.

In the two months following Twitter's acquisition, the platform grew from 380,000 to 2.5 million monthly active users, according to Wired. By the end of January, that tally had dropped to 1.4 million.

Substack Notes marks its "difference"

The Substack platform allows authors to create their newsletter and sell subscriptions to interested people.

Discussion forums on Discord and other platforms are seen by experts as denegades' dens, prone to leaking confidential documents like those from the Pentagon on the war in Ukraine © Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP

In April it launched a thread called "Notes," similar to Twitter, that allows users to post short messages, such as recommendations, comments or links to other posts.

"Notes may evoke other social media feeds, but the difference is in what you don't see," Substack co-founder Hamish McKenzie pointed out in the blog post announcing the new thread.

"The Substack network depends on paid subscriptions, not advertising. It changes everything (...) Most of the financial gains go to content creators."

Elon Musk responded by briefly blocking links and searches related to Substack on Twitter.

The micro-conflict has shown how much newsletter authors depend on Twitter to find their audience and therefore generate revenue.

Niche networks

Other platforms attract disillusioned people with mass social networks, and, more recently, Twitter.

Hive Social, an online app since 2019 that mixes elements of Twitter and Instagram, struggled to handle the influx of new users at the end of the year.

Gab and Truth Social, Donald Trump's network, were already presenting themselves as conservative alternatives to Twitter before Elon Musk's takeover.

With its 150 million monthly users, the discussion forum site Discord has carved out a place for itself beyond video game enthusiasts, its initial audience. But the recent leak of confidential Pentagon documents has not improved its reputation.

Cohost, which was born in early 2022 promising that its users' personal data would never be sold, is struggling to take off.

And the audio chat app Clubhouse born at the beginning of the pandemic has seen its number of users decline to 3.5 million, 60% less than at its peak in 2021, according to Business of Apps.

Other projects are in the works, such as Spill, whose test version is to be launched soon by two former Twitterers.

But no network seems ready to replace Twitter, which had nearly 238 million active daily users at the end of June.

© 2023 AFP