When the social media industry feels stagnant and the behemoths like Twitter seem unshakeable, a new entrant can sometimes breathe fresh air into the ecosystem. Post, one of the latest Twitter alternatives, has stepped into the scene to do just that, ambitiously vying for a spot among the social media elite.
Hot on the heels of Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition, Post initiated its journey with the beta version reveal in November 2022. On June 15, The platform has taken another significant leap forward by launching its iOS application, marking a key step in redefining news engagement on social media platforms.
The newcomer, although mirroring Twitter’s general structure, introduces distinct features aimed at transforming the way news is presented and read.
Feeding the News Beast
Within the Post application, users can alternate between three tabs: Following, Explore, and News. While the first two are straightforward, it’s the third tab, News, that gives Post its unique edge over other Twitter alternatives.
This tab reveals a fresh stream of articles from Post’s partner publishers, including renowned outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, Reuters, Wired, and Fortune among others.
On Post, headlines and article beginnings are free to peruse, but to delve deeper into the content, a microtransaction using “points” is required. These articles aren’t locked behind paywalls on the publishers’ sites, and can often be accessed by simply visiting their respective websites.
However, Post believes that some users will appreciate the convenience of an in-app reading experience devoid of intrusive ads and would thus be willing to pay.
A Storm Brews Over the Bird’s Nest
With Elon Musk at the helm, Twitter has found itself in turbulent waters. Around the time Musk took over Twitter, a noticeable uptick in user deactivations was observed, peaking at 1.75 million. While this number has since eased to 1.1 million in March, it still highlights the platform’s struggle to retain its user base.
Despite Musk’s claims of record user engagement and returning major advertisers during a recent extended BBC interview, the facts paint a different picture. Web and app usage figures suggest that Twitter has been witnessing a decrease in traction.
A slew of statistics substantiates these observations: global visits to twitter.com fell by 7.3% year-on-year in March, marking the third consecutive month of declines, according to Similarweb estimates.
Twitter’s Android app usage took a hit, too, with a 9.8% year-on-year drop in daily active users for the same month, while the website’s unique visitor count saw a 3.3% year-on-year drop.
Spilling Over: Another Twitter Alternative Enters the Arena
Complementing Post in the lineup of emerging Twitter alternatives is Spill, the brainchild of a team of former Twitter employees. Currently in an invite-only beta phase on the App Store, Spill’s inception is credited to Alphonzo “Phonz” Terrell, former Global Head of Social and Editorial at Twitter.
Six months, 10K+ lines of code, thousands of testers, our first advertisers and we’re just getting started ☕️
— SPILL (@SpillMob) June 12, 2023
Terrell believes that his creation, Spill, will be good at “building for underserved culture drivers” to create a superior platform for everyone.
While still in its beta phase, Spill is certainly not short on ambition. The Twitter alternative plans to build its own large language model for content moderation, mindful of diverse dialects such as AAVE (African American Vernacular English). The team at Spill is also considering the integration of blockchain-based features to reward creators who initiate viral trends.
As Elon Musk grapples with maintaining Twitter’s appeal amidst a visible decline in user engagement, the rise of these alternatives showcases the industry’s constant state of flux.
Post and Spill have not merely attempted to replicate a pre-existing model, but rather, they’ve taken a bold leap toward improving upon the traditional social media blueprint. By putting a spotlight on user-oriented designs and publisher-friendly features, these platforms show the potential to redefine the status quo–and who knows, maybe even give Elon Musk a run for his money.
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