To keep Twitter, or not to keep Twitter?
That...is the question. And it's a tough one!
dev.to started as a Twitter account, and it's grown into an ecosystem of more than a dozen accounts since then. As the steward of that ecosystem for the better part of the past year, it breaks my heart to watch the platform become what it has over the past few months.
We have no plans in the works to leave Twitter, even as we've established a presence on Mastodon, but I want to know what you're thinking.
Will you stay, or are you ready to leave it behind? If you're in the latter camp, what alternatives have you tried or considered?
cover image: Alas, Poor Yorick! 90s Kids Edition
Top comments (23)
It’s tough if your livelihood is tied to your presence on Twitter. Otherwise, it’s not tough.
It’s not Twitter anymore. It is a conspiracy theory website run by a conspiracy theorist and con artist who removes people who don’t agree with him.
It is only a matter of time before he is using it for manipulating stock and crypto markets again. You’re not gaining anything by staying.
I don't like the path Twitter is on but I still use it because there is a lot of information on there that is much faster to access than anywhere else. A couple weeks ago there was a power outage at a water plant in Houston, which meant there was a boil notice for the entire city. They sent no emergency alerts; instead it was pushed out to social media like Twitter. Likewise when it was midterms, statuses on polling locations were updated on Twitter. Severe weather alerts and school closures? Twitter. I found out about the Jan 6 attack because it was on Twitter first; no news station covered it until much too late. I managed to avoid most of the toxicity and bots because I kept to very specific purposes.
The other part of Twitter, networking with other developers, has moved onto Mastodon. Most of the web developers I follow have moved there. I also signed up for Hive, Post, and BlueSky. Some of the friends I've connected to on there have moved to Discord. Some part of me is excited to try out these new apps and discover new features, but it's going to be a rough transition when people are splintered across so many platforms. I'd rather Twitter not exist rather than be in its state right now, but I will be sad if it does disappear forever.
Never really used Twitter. Created an account somewhere along the line, only ever posted a handful of messages, got declared a "bot" at one point by their automated systems (hah!), and then stopped posting shortly after that. Discord and dev.to's more my jam anyway.
Watching Twitter crash and burn from the sidelines is rather entertaining. We're all gonna need a very big bag of popcorn for this one.
On a related note, I'd like to see more ActivityPub servers (what Mastodon uses under the hood) written in other languages. Distributed social media seems better than centralized. A city, county, or state could run their own instance in whatever backend they currently use (e.g. ASP.net frontends and Java backends tend to be popular among government) and outside users can follow users on that specific instance. ActivityPub is an open protocol so anyone can roll their own client/server software from scratch if they want to.
Oddly, the specification for ActivityPub is fairly close in design to how email functions as it has all of the basic fields found in email headers. Someone looked at email and said, "Huh. I can remake that for the web." And ActivityPub was born. I wouldn't be surprised to see ActivityPub email gateways pop up for people who prefer using email clients.
if the trajectory that twitter is on under musk continues, it will inevitably become a liability. the real question is: do we jump now hoping that we can build community elsewhere, or do we hold on and milk what's left of twitter until it becomes untenable?
i have 500 followers on mastodon and 3500 on twitter and get more actual interaction and 'engagement' on mastodon. while that's not rigorous data, it implies strongly to me that, in the tech sphere, we are seeing a shift. people have twitter accounts, but they use mastodon accounts.
Interesting observation! Thanks for sharing.
I still have a Twitter account, but I've been using it for a different class of posting for a long time now, and I've done what I did on Facebook years ago - started whittling down my follow list until it's just people I don't have any other way of keeping in touch with.
I do pop on from time to time, but usually it's from links to tweets I see on Imgur and I want to verify that, yes, so-and-so did actually say such-and-such and isn't-the-world-a-terrible-place?
Social media moves on. If your business depends on one particular company, then it's an unstable business. That might be a problem for some people, and it might even be something I symapthise with, but it's like supporting the coal industry at this point.
People are moving from Twitter because of the culture (or lack of it). I did that, yes, but originally I moved from Twitter because centralised social media should be a thing of the past.
An exercise I like to do is to imagine what a particular part of society would be like in some far-off Star Trek post-scarcity utopia. Then I look at the options available today and wonder which are on that path, and which are the ones that will make 30th century schoolkids the most incredulous.
I'm only still on Twitter to sometimes watch Enlo burn down the place with his abysmal incompetence. Letting your devs do 80h/week is a recipe for disaster.
Oh sorry thought you said "Elmo" /s
I wanted to... Damn typo.
I've made the choice to leave Twitter and go on Mastodon only, for a lot of reasons many have already listed here.
Something a bit hard about this migration is finding every person you followed on Mastodon ; sometimes they stayed on Twitter, others moved to different social networks.
Do you plan to add Mastodon socials integration on Forem?
We're currently having a larger conversation about Forem/DEV authentication and the best way to do it moving forward as folks are reconsidering their relationship to Twitter. This is an option that has crossed my mind, so thanks for asking! I'll definitely keep it in consideration as our team deliberates here.
TL;DR — No plans currently but it could be a possibility! Especially if more folks express interest in the option.
I keep it, because there aren't any alternatives right now.
I'm also on Mastodon and Lens, but it's just not the same.
Discovery is abysmal and there seems generally not much happening.
No, I won't leave Twitter. Why would I?
Twitter still feels the same. I see no difference tbh.
May be you follow and watch too much drama there and don't know how to mute/block certain accounts there.
All of you guys complaining about Twitter, really need to relax and focus on the accounts that actually matter to you. Not sure why so many people are getting upset and dramatically emotional about it.
P.S. I checked out Mastodon out of curiosity and didn't like it a bit.
Twitter, from the perspective of I how I use it, has not changed one bit since Musk took over - so I'm staying for sure. If I've noticed any change at all, it does seem to be loading faster - which is obviously a good thing
I'm a little scared about Musk decision. Twitter is a good place and a bad place too for following good people's and organizations.
For sure. It's not like Twitter was ever utopian under anyone's leadership!
Life should not be this meaningless
Whats changed over at Twitter? I haven't noticed any difference but after reading comments to this post I'm now interested to know what I'm blind to right now.. anyone able to summarise?
Here's an article about the events that inspired me to write this particular post:
Journalist suspensions widen rift between Twitter and media | AP News
Elon Musk's abrupt suspension of several journalists who cover Twitter widens a growing rift between the social media site and media organizations that have used the platform to build their audiences.
And then here's the search term on the AP News site if you'd like to dive deeper.