12 Days of Data 2023 Day 11 Twitter Alternatives and Social Media

12 Days of Data 2023 Day 11: Twitter Alternatives and Social Media


Welcome to the 12 Days of Data 2023 Edition, our look back at the data that made marketing in 2023. We’re looking at the year that was (and oh, what a year it was, something we’ve been saying for four years straight now…) from an analytics perspective to see what insights we can take into the next year. Sit up, get your beverage of choice ready, and let’s celebrate some data and look forward to the year ahead.

Twitter Alternatives

In October of 2022, Twitter was acquired by Elon Musk and transformed into a new private company, X. Since then, a number of decisions and actions, such as eliminating the Trust and Safety council in its entirety, have made marketers and advertisers question whether to continue advertising and participating on X, or to go elsewhere.

In the wake of the many changes at X, new competitors have popped up. Mastodon, the federated social network, gained new prominence, as did Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s new startup, Blue Sky. But probably the most prominent new X alternative is Meta’s Threads.

Which X alternative is the most viable? Let’s take a look at some traffic data over the last year to find out. Using data from Semrush, let’s see what 2023 looked like for X and its cohort in terms of visits per month:

Twitter alternative data

What we see is quite clear; X retains much of its former self’s traffic, earning over 9 billion visits per month, though that number has been on something of a decline. The other competitors aren’t even close yet.

Let’s take a deeper look, rescaling the y-axis to logarithmic:

Twitter alternative data, log scale

Here, we see Threads and Blue Sky in competition with each other; Threads is earning around 40-50 million visits a month, while Blue Sky is in the 30 million visits range. The winner of the new X replacements is Threads, with the caveat that it has a long way to go before it reaches X’s current volume.

If you’re making a volume play and brand safety is less important to you, X remains the place for your business.

Now, that’s just of the microblogging format. If we widen our perspective to other major social networks, we see a very different picture:

All major social networks

Facebook remains the largest social network of all at roughly 18 billion visits per month, followed by X, then Instagram at around 7 billion visits per month. In fourth place is Tiktok, followed by LinkedIn.

So What?

If you’re committed to the microblogging format that Twitter pioneered back in 2007 but are unhappy with the performance or other issues around X, there are alternatives; of those alternatives, Threads appears to be the most viable and impactful.

If you’re looking for volume in social media, Facebook remains the king of the hill as far as full social media platforms go (YouTube is larger but is technically a video site first, a social media platform second), with Instagram a reasonably close third.

2023 was a crazy year with huge changes in social media marketing, and 2024 promises more of the same. The only thing we can confidently predict is change itself, so keep careful watch on your data to see what’s working and what isn’t!


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