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The hunt for the next Twitter: all the news about alternative social media platforms

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Twitter hasn’t been in a great place for months, and that suddenly means that there’s a lot more competition in Twitter-like social media platforms. Mastodon might be the most well-established, but there are many other services vying to be the next place you hang out on the internet, including Post, Substack Notes, T2, the Jack Dorsey-backed Bluesky, and soon, Instagram Threads from Meta and Mark Zuckerberg.

That said, the “next Twitter” might not be decided by its app but by its protocol. Mastodon, for example, is built on top of ActivityPub, a W3C-recommended protocol for decentralized social networking, a protocol with support from Tumblr, Flipboard, and maybe even Instagram’s Twitter competitor Threads. Bluesky is building its own protocol, the AT Protocol, which, yes, is focused on decentralized social networking, but also algorithmic choice and portable accounts.

If one of these protocols (or another) really takes off, it could have a foundational impact on the way social networking functions. Instead of having to cross your fingers that one organization or company is a good steward for the app of your choice, many services will theoretically be interoperable with one another. That could open up some really exciting ways for people to talk and post on the internet, which is something we here at The Verge care deeply about. Maybe we’ll all end up gravitating toward yet another centralized platform instead — but I kind of hope we don’t.

Here’s our up-to-date coverage of the competition between Twitter alternatives — some options like Mastodon have been waiting years for this moment.