Skip to main content

The best alternatives to Twitter

If you’re planning on leaving Twitter, you may still want another social media platform to meet your microblogging and meme needs. And you may find it difficult to find another app or site (among the many that are out there) that will fill the bird app’s big shoes.

There are the obvious options like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, but there are some alternatives beyond those that you may not have considered — some that could help you cultivate community, give you a platform for your hot takes and photos, and make keeping in touch with the people you care about easier.

Mastodon

Webpage showing Mastodon's collection of communities users can join.
screenshot

Mastodon may not have as many users as Twitter, but it seems to have many of the features we want that Twitter doesn’t have: It’s free of ads. You have a higher maximum limit of characters for your posts (500!). It also has robust moderation, safety, and privacy features.

Mastodon also claims to have a feed that is chronological and algorithm-free, which lets you have more control of the content you consume. This app also includes many of the features you loved about Twitter, including polls; hashtags and trending topics; support for audio, video, photo, and GIF posts; replies; and even reblogging (retweets).

This social networking service is probably different from other social media apps you’ve used before, though. It’s free to use, but it’s also decentralized and open-source. It’s not a single website, but more like a connected group of communities that are each run by people or organizations. In fact, you have to join one of these communities to join Mastodon. You can still interact with other users from different communities, and you can change communities later if you wish.

Mastodon is available on Android and iOS, as well as a web app. It’s also accessible via a wide variety of third-party apps.

Hive Social

The Hive Social app on a phone on a white background.
Hive Social Inc.

We’re just going to say it: It’s a gorgeous app. If you’re more into posting photos, Hive Social is a great option for showcasing them. But you’re also not limited to photos: You can create text and video posts, use GIFs, and use polls, too. You can also reply to and repost others’ posts. It also offers messaging and a chronological feed to make it easier to keep up with friends and family.

Hive Social also has a “profile music” feature that brings us back to the days of Myspace and those auto-play songs on everyone’s profiles. You can add music to your profile, but you can also turn the autoplay on or off.

The main drawback? Hive Social is only available on iOS for now. They’re still working on an app for Android.

TikTok

A selection of four celebrities and their TikTok accounts featured on the main page for TikTok's desktop website.
screenshot

TikTok, really? Yeah, that’s right. It might not be your first thought as a replacement for Twitter, since it’s more of a lighthearted video platform, but the app has certainly built a massive user base and is excellent at fostering community. You might as well join it at this point, anyway, because those little bite-sized viral videos the app is known for are always being shared on Twitter and Instagram.

TikTok is free to use and available on Android, iOS, and Windows 10.

Discord

The main dashboard of a user's server on the Discord web app.
screenshot

Discord is different from the other apps on this list because it is primarily a chat app. But it’s a chat app in which you can join or create servers (which act as communities). Discord may have started out as a chat app for gamers, but you can now find communities about all sorts of topics and chat about them or share posts. You have don’t have to join a public server either. If all you want is a private one with just a few friends, you can do that too.

Discord has quite a few features to help you meet people or keep in touch: hosting events (like voice calls, streaming movies and games), voice and video chatting, and even listening to music together with Spotify. There’s also support for sending GIFs, stickers, and emojis.

You can access Discord via its web app and it’s available as an app for Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, and MacOS.

Reddit

The main page for the Ask Me Anything subreddit on Reddit.
screenshot

Reddit has been around for a long time (since 2005, in fact) and was known as the “front page of the internet” for a reason. Because, like Twitter, you can use it to keep up with the latest news, as well as join communities (subreddits) to talk about your favorite hobbies, shows, sports, or just about any other of your interests.

More than any other on this list, it’s probably the best platform to recreate the feeling of falling down a Twitter rabbit hole.

Subreddit communities look like basic forums, and they kind of are: You can post text, photos, links, and videos in a subreddit. These posts will usually receive comments and up or down votes that determine how high up on the feed your post is featured. If you’re looking for richer discussions or more in-depth explanations for your pressing questions, Reddit might be the way to go.

Reddit is free to use and can be accessed via its website and on Android or iOS.

Anita George
Anita has been a technology reporter since 2013 and currently writes for the Computing section at Digital Trends. She began…
Twitter braces itself after source code leaked online
A stylized composite of the Twitter logo.

Parts of Twitter’s source code have been leaked online, according to a legal filing with the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California.

First reported by the New York Times, the contents of Twitter’s source code -- the all-important software that powers the platform and makes it work -- showed up on GitHub, an internet hosting service for software development.

Read more
Twitter will soon be a bit less irritating for many people
Twitter logo in white stacked on top of a blue stylized background with the Twitter logo repeating in shades of blue.

With or without Elon Musk at the helm, Twitter can’t seem to decide what it wants to do with its algorithmic timeline, currently branded as “for you,” which shows tweets it thinks you'll like, whether or not you follow the tweeter.

For years it’s been messing about not only with the algorithm but also with the extent to which it forces the timeline on users.

Read more
What does the lock mean on Snapchat?
A person using Snapchat on an iPhone.

If you're new to Snapchat (or just a casual Snapchat user), you might not be aware of all of its features, including a certain lock-shaped icon. If you've ever wondered what that little lock icon means on Snapchat, you've come to the right place. In this guide, we'll explain what the lock is for and how it's connected to a Snapchat feature.
What does the lock mean on Snapchat?
In Snapchat, that lock icon indicates that the Snapchat story you're seeing is what's known as a Private Story.
What exactly is a Private Story?

A Private Story is a type of Snapchat story that allows the Snapchatter who posts it to restrict that story's visibility to only a few, select friends. That is to say, if you post a Private Story, you can choose which of your friends can see it. Additionally, the only user who can invite other users to it or add Snaps to a Private Story is the user who created the Private Story in the first place.

Read more