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Tweets or Toots? The rise of new social media platforms


Social media and PR have become synonymous with each other, and for us JAMmers, Twitter plays an essential part in our communications strategies. The instability Twitter has been faced with recently is no secret, however, and Twitter’s sluggish user growth has left many to question whether the social network is set to die a death.

With the social media world moving at such a fast pace, it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Remember back when it was just Facebook and Twitter? Then came Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, Reddit, Pinterest…

And now, there’s a new social network giving Twitter a run for its money. Mastadon (no, not the heavy metal band) is much like Twitter, except it’s trying to be an improved version of the global platform. Mastadon’s creator, Eugen Rochko, grew too frustrated with Twitter so decided to create his own service. The word count limit on Mastadon is 500 instead of 140 and, to avoid making your account private, you can make individual posts private instead. As well as this, timelines are chronological – oh, and you post “toots”, not “tweets”.

Despite the media attention Mastadon has enjoyed recently, mainly due to the fact that its user base has rocketed (so much so that the main site is no longer accepting new users), it’s unlikely that Mastadon will take over Twitter any time soon. For PR purposes, Twitter is vital to any campaign as a platform for sharing and receiving news and information, although Mastadon does lead us to question whether it’s time for Twitter to make some improvements.

Only time will tell whether Mastadon will become yet another social media craze that suddenly drops off the face of the earth. But who knows what the future holds for the world of social media? In today’s digital age, it’s impossible to predict.

Back in 2010, Twitter had 30 million monthly active users, and by the end of last year this had grown to 319 million. Clearly, the opportunities for brands here are huge, but the sudden growth of Mastadon does highlight the importance of first considering what works best for your business or brand before jumping on the latest social media craze.

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