Ever since Elon Musk bought Twitter, the platform has been in constant turmoil, with some major advertisers leaving the group. While many users have fled the cage to other platforms, such as Mastodon, Hive Social, Post.News and Spill recently to start, many marketers say they are on the fence about following suit.
That’s not to say there isn’t any interest in other Twitter channels. “But at the end of the day, there’s no clear alternative to Twitter right now, despite the brand safety issues and platform uncertainty,” said Greg Swan, Chief Creative and Strategy Officer at The Social Lights, a Minneapolis-based social network. agency, he said in a statement to Digiday. “Will there be another platform worth prioritizing in the coming years?” Yes. Which one remains to be seen.
Unlike the golden rush of TikTok, where brands rushed to create a presence and be the first in the short video program, the push of another brand from Twitter has not been necessary, despite the chaos that we have already mentioned. In fact, many social media agencies say they are waiting and seeing, reluctant to develop other programs for clients because many other channels have not yet delivered the advertising, guaranteed user numbers, brand safety or audience size that really bothers them. Twitter. Additionally, some marketers see the rewards of advertising on Twitter outweigh the risks.
“Platforms that have been established or are positioning themselves as successors to Twitter, seem to be less compelling among our most interested customers because it is not clear that they are interested in the audience,” said Liz Cole, managing director and head of the US. at VMLY&R. The organization has not used any of the aforementioned programs on behalf of their clients. “In terms of performance, even for our brands that have taken a big share from Twitter, the lights are not going to be turned off in any way,” he added.
‘No other platform will be Twitter’
Late last year, entrepreneur Musk launched his takeover of Twitter, disrupting advertisers and many users, overhauling authentication, restoring banned accounts and launching a seemingly endless platform. That chaos created enough space for challengers to enter the fray, such as Mastodon, a social networking site built on independent servers, microblogging platforms such as Hive Social and Post.News, and Spill, a new social networking site started by former employees. on Twitter. Even Twitter founder Jack Dorsey announced plans for a new social media company called Bluesky Social.
At first, the pendulum swung and, in response, users threatened to leave Twitter for other platforms (especially Mastodon, one of the most similar channels to Twitter). Mastodon usage increased 6,380% worldwide between Oct. 15 and Oct. 26, and between Oct. 27 and Nov. 7, following Musk’s takeover, on Sensor Tower and eMarketer.
This growth soon waned after many said the program was ineffective. However, the pendulum doesn’t seem to have swung far enough to encourage more users to leave Twitter. For some, Musk’s changes aren’t bad enough to compel them to flee and explore the more obscure boundaries of Twitter’s other Twitter channels.
“Any platform can be an alternative to Twitter, as the hosts found out when they moved to platforms like Gab, Gettr and Minds when they were suspended and banned from Twitter last year,” said Baruch Labunski, CEO of Rank Secure, SEO and digital. trade association. “However, no other platform can be Twitter.”
Per Labunski, leaving Twitter to spend time and effort on another channel means throwing away an already built community to create another one that doesn’t reflect the previous audience. “I don’t want to change or reduce time on platforms. Twitter has got a lot of viewers who are interested so this is a good look for me,” he added.
And Labunski was not wrong. For the six months between July and December 2022 alone, monthly visits to Mastodon totaled 3.2 million, while there were 478,000 visits to Hive and 1.5 million visits to Post.News, according to data from SimilarWeb. These numbers are a far cry from what the 450 million monthly active marketers can get from Twitter. So with these other platforms everyone is still testing the number of users, naturally it will take a long time to build a large following.
Beyond Twitter alternatives, there’s a buffet of social networking sites to choose from, from TikTok to Discord. Needless to say, Twitter still exists and advertisers can return to the platform if they choose. Investors need to be careful how they spend their time and money, especially since economic uncertainty has made dollars more valuable than ever.
Going organic on Mastodon
Although there is no winner in the competition of other Twitter channels, Mastodon seems to attract the most attention, due to its similarity to Twitter. In fact, Musk’s updates have even sent some Twitter founders to Mastodon, according to Bloomberg.
Advertisers at Verasoni Worldwide, Smartly.io and Battenhall social media agency have tested Mastodon. “For us, looking at Mastodon’s growth, it was really about helping any brand, after all, the tech community find them,” said Drew Benvie, CEO of Battenhall. “From our point of view, from the application point of view [the alternatives]Twitter is Mastodon [do] very good all around. ”
Benvie said much of Mastodon’s approach is structured, in which the company’s spokespersons create a presence on the platform to connect with their target audience. But with so many unknowns about the platform, there’s a lot of listening and learning that needs to be done to avoid bad players or the chance to upset the Mastodon team, he added.
Even before Musk, Twitter was challenged by maintaining the interest of advertisers, whether paid or organic. Meaning Twitter’s share of advertising revenue and strategic efforts is comparable to other established apps such as Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Even among users, Twitter’s numbers fell behind YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and LinkedIn. In 2021, Pew Research reported that 23% of US adults use Twitter regularly. For Facebook, this number is relatively high, with 69% of US adults using the app.
Since Twitter bought and exited other advertisers at the end of last year, the immediate question has been: Where are the ad dollars going? Apparently, the answer is everywhere.
According to marketers, there doesn’t seem to be a correlation between customers who have left Twitter and customers who are moving to platforms similar to Twitter. Instead, corporate clients are asking to explore and invest in platforms that are already established, such as Reddit, TikTok or Meta.
“Many of my clients are not looking to replace Twitter with one of these but want to add other platforms to their list of channels,” Labunski said. “It may lead to a little effort to get into Twitter over time but we have to see where the platform goes.”
Mark Lainas, president of Canvas United digital agency, talks about how social media sharing is happening. In other words, there are so many online communities built on different platforms that marketers will need to consider social media strategies.
“If we stop investing in Twitter, that’s the next step for us to try and learn,” Lainas said, referring to platforms like Reddit and TikTok. “The winners will not be the pioneers of new social media, but in fact, some of the secondary channels of social media.”