Since getting purchased by Elon Musk, Twitter has been in a highly-publicized tailspin.
Between staff cuts, unpopular feature changes, public disputes with reputable media entities, and declining traffic and ad revenue, the platform has had a tumultuous year.
One thing Twitter hasn’t had to deal with in its 17-year history is direct competition. While there are plenty of other popular social media platforms, they all serve different purposes.
Instagram, traditionally a photo-based app, is a place to share visual content. Facebook is for communicating with people you already know and engaging in groups. TikTok has a unique hybrid of video and audio content for entertainment. YouTube focuses strictly on video. But Twitter was the only major platform offering real-time text updates and microblogs from a variety of sources all in one feed.
The introduction of daily limits created a sense of urgency for frustrated Twitter users who don’t want to pay for a Twitter Blue subscription to find an alternative. While apps like Mastadon and Bluesky have been on the scene, barriers to entry have prevented Twitter users from migrating to these apps en masse. However, over the past few weeks, a few new standouts have emerged.
Spill: A Black-Owned Twitter Alternative
Spill, a visual-based conversational platform where users can share GIFs and images with up to 90 characters of text overlay, was created by two former Twitter employees. It launched in June 2023 and is currently invite-only for iPhone users. Popular among Black Twitter users, Spill was the top-downloaded free social media app in the app store at the beginning of July.
Image Source: Spill
With larger font and image-based posts, the app’s feed is more reminiscent of Tumblr than Twitter. Because of the shorter character limits, posts have to be more concise keeping conversations moving fairly quickly.
Though Spill has gained some initial momentum, its early-stage exclusivity doesn’t…
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