Whether you disagree with its current direction, or you’re sick of trolls, extremists, and over-exuberant censorship, you might be thinking of quitting Twitter.
But where should you go? Are there any realistic alternatives to Twitter, and if so, which one will suit you? While Twitter has many strengths, the best things about it are also available on other platforms. To help you choose, here are the best Twitter alternatives that you might switch to.
Mastodon is an open-source Twitter alternative that offers greater control over what you see and the conversations you have.
The real strength to Mastodon is that it can be used as individual “instances.” This means that you can access specialized versions of the site, usually themed by topic. Star Trek fan? There’s a Mastodon for you. And because Mastodon is open source, you can get your own instance, set it up, and essentially run your own social network.
Learn more in our guide to the Mastodon open-source social network.
Download: Mastodon for iOS | Android
With an aim of putting “people and free speech first” Gab has become known as the “alt-right” alternative to Twitter; indeed, it was formed as an antidote to what CEO Andrew Torba described “the entirely left-leaning Big Social monopoly.”
While a free speech-focused service might not seem unreasonable, Gab was banned in 2016 from the Apple App Store. In 2017, meanwhile, Google removed the app from the Play Store, noting that Gab failed to “demonstrate a sufficient level of moderation, including for content that encourages violence and advocates hate against groups of people.”
All this controversy is a shame, as the Gab platform is pretty useful, with 300 character status updates and a UI that seems like a combination of Facebook and Twitter.
Available as a mobile app, Amino can be installed on Google Play and the Apple App Store. Its focus is similar to Mastodon; you’re given communities to join based on your interests.
Communities on all sorts of topics can be joined, from favorite movies and TV franchises to pop groups and even sub-cultures based on gender and sexuality. Content that parents may deem unsuitable can be easily found on Amino, however, despite a minimum age of 13.
Anyone interested in Amino should browse the website first. Although you cannot post or sign up here, you’ll get a flavor of what this social network is all about.
Download: Amino for iOS | Android
Claiming to be “A marketplace of ideas,” GETTR offers multiple sign-up options, from phone or email to Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Twitch, and many others.
This makes it really easy to get started using a social network “founded on the principles of free speech, independent thought and rejecting political censorship.” You can think of GETTR as a less conservative Parler, with no Kanye West.
GETTR is available for mobile devices and through your browser.
Download: GETTR for iOS | Android
Considered a “conservative social media platform” since its inception, Parler represents both a place (parlour) and conversation (parlay/parlez). Boasting an impressive mobile app, many notable outlets have spread to Parler, such as ESPN. Account creation is quick and easy, as is posting.
As with Twitter, posts can be replied to, shared (echoed), and liked (upvoted).
In October 2022, Parler was purchased by controversial rapper Kanye West. Along with browser access, Parler has mobile apps for iOS and Android. Learn more in our guide to Parler.
Download: Parler for iOS | Android
A social network that is still in its early days, Cohost is built for sharing whatever you want. The user interface resembles both Tumblr and Facebook, and is ad-free. A monthly or annual subscription affords enhanced access to the site (larger uploads, customization options).
As a relatively new platform (at the time of writing), Cohost has a slow signup process. While you can create an account and browse the site, you cannot post until your account is fully verified. On the plus side, this means you have the time to explore conversations and topics, bookmark hashtags, and set up a profile.
For those concerned about online privacy, Cohost “will never sell your data, sell ads, or sell the company to anyone who might change these policies to make a quick buck.”
Note that there is currently no mobile app for Cohost.
With a desktop user interface that resembles TweetDeck, CounterSocial aims to offer its community four “unique protections.” These are:
- Deepfake detection: uploaded content is analyzed to determine the use of deepfakes.
- Botsentinel integration: intended to detect bots.
- Identity breach alerts: a useful way for account holders to find out if their account has been hacked and misused.
- Factlayer integration: color-coded links to demonstrate how reliable a news link is.
Accounts have a 500-character limit per post, media can be uploaded, polls conducted, and warnings employed to hide text behind. Pro accounts are also available with enhanced features, such as changing status, and posts that expire and “explode.”
CounterSocial offers a good experience, although some topics are underserved. If you’re fond of discussing news and topical events, however, it should be high on your list of Twitter alternatives.
Download: CounterSocial for iOS | Android
Initially a social network based around unfolding news stories, Raftr has pivoted to become a “community-building platform for universities, organizations, and clubs.”
Aimed at the 15-25 age group, Raftr provides social spaces for colleges and schools, where you can also engage with friends and receive social event notifications.
Overall, Raftr is a great way to orientate and meet fellow students who share the same interests. With custom groups that you can post, chat, and share to, Raftr aims to be a safe social network for on-campus students.
Download: Raftr for iOS | Android
Founded in 2008 and especially popular in Taiwan, Plurk is surprisingly similar to Twitter. The name “plurk” has several meanings, such as being a portmanteau of “play” and “lurk” or an acronym of peace, love, unity, respect, and karma. But how does this translate to actually using the service?
With a 360-character limit, Plurk utilizes a horizontal timeline, with messages summarized by single verbs (“feels”, “loves”, etc.). Media files can be shared, Plurks can be liked, and emoticons used. Engaging with the site grows karma, unlocking more emoticons. Group chat and direct messaging are also featured on Plurk.
In many ways, this service is indistinguishable from Twitter, but is overall a friendlier place.
Download: Plurk for iOS | Android | Web
If the whole idea of social networks on mobile apps and the fast pace of a news feed is giving you a headache, WT.Social (conceived by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales) could be the antidote.
Also known as WikiTribune, the network includes recommended subwikis on fighting misinformation and starting with WT.Social. A vast number of topics you are covered, the latest posts from which you will find listed under your subscribed subwikis. Meanwhile, your updates can be shared to your followers or in a subwiki that you have joined.
It’s early days for WT.Social, so there is currently only the browser-based interface. However, there does seem to be an intelligent discourse around WT.Social that is lacking in other networks.
If you ever share photos on Twitter, then you probably should be on Instagram. Sure, it might be owned by Facebook, and mobile-only, but with hashtag support and the ability to follow everything from funny accounts to cute animals there are many reasons to consider Instagram as a Twitter alternative.
Perhaps the most important thing about Instagram is that there are so many users. Statista reports that Instagram had 2 billion active users in December 2021, more than four times that of Twitter.
Being so easy to use, Instagram feels like an obvious Twitter alternative.
Download: Instagram for iOS | Android
You may also consider Discord as your alternative to Twitter. Like Mastodon, it is a discussion environment that is easy to join and use. You can even set up your own chat server, for any purpose.
All manner of servers and topics are available in Discord, which you might think of as a “live chat Reddit.” While it started life as a chat service for online gamers, it has grown way beyond that remit. These days, Discord has the facility to record voice chats, host video chats, upload media, and more.
Download: Discord for iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux
What’s Your Twitter Replacement?
Whether you plan to get off Twitter today, or think it’s better to leave it until the people you follow jump ship, these alternatives are currently the best options:
Which one you prefer depends on what you hope to get out of a microblogging/social networking experience. Although Instagram is the best-supported alternative, the flexibility of Mastodon as a Twitter replacement makes it a strong option, as does the increasing popularity of Discord.