COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Hashtags such as #RIPTwitter and #GoodbyeTwitter began to trend on the social media platform last week as users flocked to say goodbye after a string of layoffs and mass resignations at Twitter.

But Twitter is still chugging along. 

Still, at least a fraction of the conversation on and off the platform continues to center on what to do and where to go with Twitter in flux. 

Younger social media platforms gaining traction

Since Twitter was created in 2006, a number of younger social media platforms have emerged — and some have since gone obsolete. But after new CEO Elon Musk took the reins just more than three weeks ago, a few of those lesser-established applications have been thrown around as “alternatives” to Twitter. 

Every social media platform offers some unique features to stick out from counterparts and caters to different user bases. But within the “social media” umbrella, most have similar core features. 

Mastodon is a “decentralized social network” created in 2016. Rather than one single website, it hosts a number of servers that different people or organizations run. When creating a Mastodon account, new users will be prompted to decide which server they would like to join, with choices ranging from one for news professionals to another for people in the San Francisco Bay Area region. 

Posts have 500-character limits and can include pictures, polls, videos, and other elements. The network itself runs on a public source code. In an April 2022 blog post, Mastodon creator Eugen Rochko wrote his biggest goal was for the network to be “a viable alternative to Twitter.”

“At Mastodon, we present a vision of social media that cannot be bought and owned by any billionaire, and strive to create a more resilient global platform without profit incentives,” Rochko’s blog post read.

The number of monthly active users swiftly increased by more than 500% to 2.3 million users in the last month, according to Mastodon’s website. As of January 2022, Twitter boasted about 435 million monthly active users, according to Statista. 

Hive Social launched on the iOS App Store in 2019, according to its website. The startup platform founded by two college students, in its fourth year of existence, aims to bring “back what you used to love about social media in a new way.” On Monday, it was fifth on the application store’s charts.

Hive features a chronological feed, rather than one determined by an algorithm, and lets users post pictures and videos, GIFs, and polls. Users can also highlight music and color themes on their profiles, according to Hive’s website. 

Forbes senior contributor Paul Tassi describes it as a “a mix of Instagram and Twitter” with a little bit of Tumblr. But it is an early-stage startup, without an Android or desktop version, run by two people, Tassi cautions. 

Post is another microblogging platform in even earlier stages seeking to be an alternative, with a waitlist for interested potential users. It was founded by Noam Bardin, the former CEO of navigation software application Waze. 

It will allow users to pen social posts without character limits, purchase individual articles from news publications they aren’t subscribed to, and send micro-payments to creators on the platform, according to post.news.

“Post is designed to give the voice back to the sidelined majority; there are enough platforms for extremists, and we cannot relinquish the town square to them,” Bardin wrote in a blog post. Close to 100,000 people have joined the waitlist for the platform, according to Bardin. 

And among these three, plus other young platforms having their moment in the sun, Twitter users are also talking about older and better-established platforms, such as Tumblr and Reddit. 

How to download your data, deactivate your Twitter account

Regardless of an alternative application, Twitter itself provides some routes for people reconsidering their activity and connectivity on its app.

Under the security and account access tab in your account’s settings, you can enable two-factor authentication to strengthen your login and see which outside accounts are connected to your Twitter login. Privacy and safety lets you make some data-sharing choices.

Twitter also enables you to download their data in a .zip file — according to The Verge, that file contains an archive of a user’s profile, from quick statistics to every old tweet.

To download your data:

  • Hit the “more” button on the left-hand sidebar, which has an icon with three dots to its left
  • Head to the “your account” tab
  • Click “download an archive of your data”
  • Enter your profile password
  • Verify your identity through two-factor authentication (via text or email)
  • Hit request data
  • Wait. Twitter says it takes 24 hours, but according to The Verge, it could be longer

It is a little more clear-cut if you want to leave the platform entirely.

To deactivate your Twitter account, hit the aforementioned “more” and “your account” buttons. Twitter allows users to decide whether they want 30 days or 12 months to be able to reactivate, so once you have chosen that, hit the red “deactivate” button at the bottom of the page.