Is the mass Twitter migration here? Users began fretting about the end of Twitter as soon as Tesla Inc.
CEO Elon Musk announced plans to purchase the service earlier this year, when he teased a more lax approach to content moderation. But many Twitter users have been bracing to say goodbye with more urgency over the last several days, after Musk followed up mass layoffs by asking remaining employees to either consent to long hours or take severance pay.
Now, Twitter users who once contemplated leaving the platform due to a CEO’s changing vision are contending with the possibility that Twitter might physically “break” given the absence of key engineers and other staffers.
The employee exodus has changed the equation. Employees had to decide whether or not to stay at Twitter by Thursday afternoon, and perhaps hundreds of those who were given the ultimatum opted for an exit, according to estimates published in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere. Twitter, which is said to have largely disbanded its press team, didn’t immediately respond to a MarketWatch request for comment on the number of employees that chose the severance package. Read: Twitter risks fraying as engineers exit over Musk upheaval The problem is that Twitter, which had more 237 million monetizable daily active users as of the June quarter, isn’t easy to replace. Yes, there are other big platforms where people can go to connect online, including Facebook and Instagram, both owned by Meta Platforms Inc.
and fast-growing TikTok, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. But Twitter serves a unique role for many web dwellers due to its focus on real-time information, often spread through text. Instagram and TikTok are far more focused on photos and videos, respectively. What’s more, Twitter is a platform where many world leaders, companies, celebrities and public figures already have an established presence and are easy to find; the same can’t be said for alternatives like Mastodon and Post. Yet. That said, Twitter users have some ideas of where they might be able to go in a world in which Twitter doesn’t exist, or at least one in which Twitter doesn’t resemble the service it once was. The following are some widely mentioned alternatives. Mastodon This oft-mentioned alternative platform describes itself as “radically different social media, back in the hands of the people.” It points to the fact it has “no algorithms or ads to waste your time” and “provides you with a unique possibility of managing your audience without middlemen.” As the tech-oriented Lifewire site explains, Mastodon is decentralized — meaning that instead of “offering one giant social media platform, it allows users to create, host, and run communities or ‘instances.’ Each instance has a different set of conduct policies determined by the hosts.” One benefit of Mastodon is that it doesn’t allow the equivalent of quote-tweeting the way that Twitter does. Quote-tweets can breed sassy replies, so Mastodon has a less aggressive feel. And Volkswagen