Flee Twitter? Sick of Instagram? Eight Lesser-Known Social Media Sites the Art World Can Try

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More than a million users have left social media giant Twitter since Elon Musk took office on October 28. “The bird is released”, tweeted the business mogul who has long accused the platform of brutal censorship. People are now leaving the platform fearing an outpouring of unchecked offensive content. Meanwhile, Instagram fans have been complaining about changes to the social media network for months, saying it’s too much like TikTok, with an emphasis on video that isn’t appealing to all users (read: Millennials and more). And then there’s Facebook…

So what are the alternatives? Here are eight new and lesser-known social media platforms to try.

Mastodon

What is that? The main platform ex-Tweeters fly to. It is a decentralized network, which means that it is not owned by a single person or company, but is held on several international servers.

Users: Over 650,000 (and growing rapidly – 200,000 joined last week)

Advantages: It can’t be co-opted in the same way as Twitter but it works very similarly

The inconvenients: The decentralized aspect of it can be confusing for new users

Vero

What is that? A platform to create meaningful connections and a culture that supports creators

Users: About five million

Advantages: It is free from ads, algorithms and data mining

The inconvenients: It may be free now, but soon it will introduce a subscription model

Discord

What is that? A chat and “hang out” platform particularly popular with gamers, developers and the crypto community

Users: About 150 million

Advantages: It’s free and easy to connect with users with similar interests to build active communities and is also decentralized, like Mastodon

The inconvenients: It has a rough developer aesthetic that some users may find difficult to navigate

only fans

What is that? A content subscription service

Users: About 120 million

Advantages: Creators can actively earn money from their work and it’s censorship-free

The inconvenients: The site is more known for its pornographic content than for its art

Lips

What is that? A creative space for LGBTQIA+ women and creators and their fans

Users: About 20,000

Advantages: It circumvents censorship and aims to create an online space for marginalized communities

The inconvenients: Like OnlyFans, it is more associated with sex work than art

Be real

What is that? A photo app that prompts users to take “real” photos at specific times of day

Users: About 23 million

Advantages: It encourages an unfiltered, imperfect aesthetic that is refreshing

The inconvenients: The photo format, which captures an image using your phone’s front and back cameras, is restrictive

Glass

What is that? A photo sharing platform

Users: Unknown

Advantages: If you’re nostalgic for the good old days of Instagram, this is the app for you

The inconvenients: It is not yet available for Android and you have to pay to use it

VSCO

What is that? A photo and video editing app that also has a community sharing feature

Users: About 280,000

Advantages: Like Glass, there are no ads or algorithms, just photos. Moreover, it has an elegant design and user experience

The inconvenients: Some features are subscriber only and do not publicly display details such as number of subscribers, likes or comments

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