Elon Musk has officially taken over Twitter and already fired all of the senior leadership and employees responsible for the mass censorship of users who are predominantly right-leaning. Accounts of suspended users have already been restored and Musk promises more reforms including changes to the monetization structure.
Before Musk flew in to save the corrupt platform, a lot of new competing social media sprung up to fill a void for conservative users who didn’t feel safe or were no longer welcome on the traditional liberal sites like Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Let’s take a look at who does it best:
8. Coming in last we have Facebook
The Facebook that launched a thousand ships may have been the first of its breed but has been made mostly irrelevant in recent years. If not for telling me when random friends and family’s birthdays are and reminding me of cringey things I said 12 years ago, I’m not sure what Facebook is even for.
Further, at CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s own admission, the site censors information at the behest of deep state and provides them with whatever data they ask for.
That being said it is still the best in class for event invites, meetups and subgroups. So it limps along with these niche but important offerings for users.
7. Next is YouTube
YouTube is one of the first video platforms and its functionality still makes it the number one for content creation in the long form or any kind of video sharing. However, there is not a great interactive functionality on YouTube. While there is an availability for comments, it’s really a one directional platform which doesn’t seem to be the way of the future. Additionally, its search algorithms seem really wonky.
But the worst thing about YouTube is their tight-fisted censorship policies. If YouTube thinks you’re “spreading misinformation” they not only take down your video but they reset your stats for the purposes of monetization. They hurt people’s businesses with no recourse and for that reason, it’s one of the worst out there.
Look – I love Candace Owens who is connected to Parler through her husband George Farmer. I love that Parler was one of the first companies (if not the first) to get out there and compete against the liberal sites. I love the concept and hope it continues to grow and get better.
That being said, I don’t find Parler particularly functional. It presents like Twitter but with far less user engagement and less intuition on the user interface. I’m not really sure what to do with it at all except repost things I already Tweeted or posted to GETTR or Insta. Because of this, I also find the user base to be a little less pleasing than some of the other sites. They don’t seem to be my friends, enemies or thought leaders.
But I think Parler does have a lot of potentials and we will be rooting for them and bulking up content there.
Putting aside the whole issue of its Chinese government ownership, what TikTok does well is exposure to the right people. TikTok’s algorithms are best in class for getting the right videos in front of the right eyes. This is great for branding, marketing and even for user enjoyment.
Additionally the video creation is so user-friendly. You can do a lot on TikTok with very little knowledge on how to make a video. Right now, it’s still the primary platform I use to make videos and I repost the TikTok to other platforms because their functionality is just so much better than other sites.
The drawback is obvious. The Chinese government does censor content pretty strictly. I had a video that was taken down for having a photo of Donald Trump in it (I kid you not). It was restored but deeply shadow banned.
Additionally, like YouTube, TikTok is pretty one-directional. The comments are a bit more interactive than YouTube and the “stitch” function makes it easier to interact but still that connectivity is limited.
4. On to our father, Donald J. Trump’s Truth Social
I love Donald Trump and I support all his projects including Truth. But oh boy that roll out. Undeniably, Truth has some problems with functionality. At this point, I really only retain a Truth Social to see what Trump is going to say but I have found his Truths to be far more sanitized than his Tweets once were. Likely because the Truth population are all allies.
However, of all the apps I think Truth has a lot to grow on. It had quite a bit of hype and an heir of exclusivity which could be capitalized on with the right influencers lured over to get some diverse content flowing through the app.
I also appreciate its simplicity. The app is very clean. While I don’t think there is a lot to do on there to make it a high engagement app, I also don’t find it confusing or clunky like I do Parler or like the feature overloaded dinosaur, Facebook.
Hear me out. I know it’s part of the censorship brigade but even so it’s done a little better of a job. Instead of deplatforming, Instagram tends to just put up egregious warning banners. They do shadowban, but not quite as egregiously as Twitter.
With those drawbacks aside, Instagram has remained relevant and the younger generation even uses it as a primary chat device which is not common among millennials (the generation of its advent). The ability to share a photo with a quick caption allows for people to digitally feel closer to each other in ways that other apps aren’t quite capturing. For me, Instagram remains the app that keeps me in touch with friends the most.
2. Twitter (Elon’s Version)
Twitter has a lot wrong with it. The censorship being the number one issue. The ability to be taken out of the public dialog because a group of 5 people determine your speech to be “dangerous” is pretty egregious. And their practice of shadow banning and removing followers etc is all ridiculous and has to be corrected. It is to be seen if Musk can or will correct these issues but he has started off pretty strongly by firing a lot of folks who contributed to censorship culture and restoring some unfairly deplatformed users like the Babylon Bee.
What Twitter does well is toxicity. It is difficult to go full echo chamber on Twitter. You almost inevitably have to be exposed to view points which are different than your own. The reach is wide and the hate is palpable. This is a good thing because no other platform in the entire social media sphere does toxic as well as Twitter. In politics, in entertainment, in marketing – controversy can be good. It can be easier to get something to trend or get a group fired up when there is visible push back.
- And the number one spot goes to GETTR
GETTR brands itself as a beacon of free speech but does itself the favor of being a lot more. GETTR brings together the concepts of Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube to create a platform that allows a user to create a broader identity.
One of the platform’s greatest strengths is its livestream roster. There is quite a bit of scheduled livestream programming including notable names like Nigel Farage, Charlie Kirk, Steve Bannon and Tim Young but also any user could have a regular or irregular livestream to engage other users. The GETTR team frequently engages in a wide variety of stream subjects from video game reviews and live play to sporting events and my personal favorite, a user talent show they called “GETTR’s Got Talent.”
The drawbacks to GETTR are two fold. One, the content remains primarily political in nature. But as I mentioned with the diverse livestreams, the GETTR team seems to be dedicated to diversifying the content and user narratives by promoting those focused on pop culture, entertainment and other interests and inserting their own GETTR sponsored fun into the conversations.
The second is that GETTR Vision is still in its infancy. It’s a great integration into the app and it will one day, undoubtedly, have as many features or more than TikTok. But for now the music and sound integration is very limited as are the effects.
Overall, GETTR manages to balance feature offerings with ease of use and has successfully promoted free speech and a safe place for conservative thought without allowing for a total takeover by vulgar trolls and human traffickers. What the GETTR leadership team seems to understand that so few seem to be able to grasp these days is common sense. And frankly, what differentiates them from the other “conservative” platforms is their ability to have fun. It’s no wonder it is the only “alternative’ social media app to experience growth and it actually doubled its users.