In the wake of Twitter’s hyper-scrutinised and seemingly total demise, a lot of trust in the platform is now up in the air. 

Big brands have seen the roll out of Twitter Blue, which offered the purchase of a verified ‘blue tick’ for just $8 a month, ruin their reputation. Fake accounts such as a Pepsi impersonator tweeting ‘Coke is better’ is a timid example of the level of brand defamation going on across the platform, as the community pushes back against Elon Musk’s new plans for free speech online. 

As a result, brands such as Forbes, Disney and Mazda have paused their ad spend on the platform. With around 90% of Twitter’s revenue coming from advertising, this could be catastrophic for the platform’s future. 

So where does Twitter go from here? The company is down more than half its staff after sacking 3,700 employees and seeing 1,200 resign of the total 7,500 working at Twitter before the Musk takeover. With the company now under investigation from San Francisco authorities for Musk’s recent treatment of employees, including installing beds in the offices of remaining workers, it doesn’t look like things are going to improve from here. 

What are the alternatives? 

If you are a brand looking for a new alternative to Twitter, or even just a casual user wanting a more peaceful experience, you might want to look into the new alternatives popping up such as Mastodon

Don’t jump ship from Twitter yet, but be careful about how you use it. You’re better off staying on Twitter and monitoring brand mentions closely, keeping an eye out for harmful impersonators rather than turning a blind eye to it. But maybe rethink your ad spending and social campaigns for now—you could easily divert focus to another platform such as Facebook or Instagram as this all blows over. 

Moving forward, it looks as though Mastodon is emerging as a favourite Twitter alternative for journalists and global media. It’s not a bad idea to jump on board as the website is seeing so much growth, but first you should be aware of the differences between the two platforms, and how much the experience will differ for brands particularly. 

How does Mastodon work? 

Mastodon looks like Twitter, feels like Twitter, creates community spaces and supports the media cycle like Twitter, but is built a little differently. 

It’s not a single website like other social media you might be used to. To sign up, you must pick a ‘provider’, which are different established servers that let you hold an account with them. Currently 78 servers are listed, which can be regional or based in topics such as art, gaming, or journalism. You can interact with servers outside your own, and these servers can be public or private. 

The website is open-source, community owned, and completely free from advertising. It doesn’t use an algorithm, but it does have a 500-character ‘toot’, reminiscent of the 480-character tweet limit. Its privacy features are stronger than Twitter’s, too—for example, you can set up automatic post deletion, whereby posts of a certain age delete themselves. 

Mastodon’s moderators greet you with a list of rules when signing up that ban users from hate speech and other illegal activities online such as doxing, and Mastodon’s server library will only list communities that are committed to active moderation in accordance with these rules. 

Is Mastodon the answer? 

Because of the emphasis of Mastodon being community owned, ad-free, and non-algorithmic, it’s hard to see this being a big social media for brands in the near future. It is much more intensely focused on creating a social space for people rather than companies—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hop on board. With the landscape of social media changing so quickly, it certainly doesn’t hurt to establish a presence on such a fast-growing and lauded platform. Just hold fire on making the complete switch over right now. 

For further social advice and expert management of your online presence, look no further than Faith

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Katie Sessions Account Executive
At Faith, Katie is responsible for helping to manage client accounts and deliver communications plans, alongside continuing to craft compelling stories that resonate with audiences.