Since Elon Musk took over Twitter, the site has had problem after problem after problem from all kinds of angles and backgrounds. I’m not going to list them here as they’ve been discussed to death, but both small and large businesses alike have said it’s no longer a viable platform for advertising.
Enter the challengers to the crown in 2022: first it was CounterSocial, than Mastodon, then Hive Social. Twitter friends and acquaintances in the writing community jumped ship to one or more of these.
In some cases, they promptly came back grumbling about problems at those sites.
Now there is another. Is it any different?
Already feeling new platform fatigue, I ignored it. It sounded like any other Twitter clone. The trial opening period closed and I went on my merry way.
A small group of Twitter friends did sign up for it though. Unlike the other three sites mentioned, they had very little negative to say about Spoutible during that trial period.
On 9th February, Spoutible opened to the public. By that time I was already convinced to at least try it out.
If you’ve been active on Twitter for some time, you will feel instantly at ease with Spoutible. Aside from some name changes it’s basically the same. Instead of retweeting you are echoing, you spout instead of tweet, and quote spout instead of quote retweet. Nothing really groundbreaking there.
There’s also a “Making Waves” list on the right hand side which is the same as Twitter’s trending.
Again, nothing earthshattering introduced to social media.
The most noticeable difference is in what you see on the timeline. You see only the content that your followers echo or spout. Similarly, you will only spout to your followers. Even better, the hearts (Twitter’s likes) do not drive the algorithm; they are used solely as an acknowledgement to the original poster.
What does that mean for users? Simply, you don’t see lots of stuff on your timeline from accounts you don’t follow about subjects you’re not interested in. Twitter’s algorithm for example thinks that because my American friends are interested in the Superbowl, the mid-terms, and various other US-based stuff, that I am and should be too.
Ooh look, the lefties are annoyed at someone called DeSantis… let’s tell the whole world!
If you’re familiar with Tumblr, Spoutible will also feel like a natural home because of this lack of dependence on the algorithm. To users of both Twitter and Tumblr, it feels like a hybrid of the best bits of both sites.
Also, it has an edit button! However, you can only edit for the first five minutes after spouting. This is ample time to correct typos, for example.
Yet despite this, even though I have under 20 followers at the date of publishing this article, engagement isn’t much less than my Twitter engagement… despite having over 1,500 on the more established site.
Other differences to be aware of:
- Up to ten photos, not Twitter’s four
- No “for you” separate feed
- No top stories vs chronological order (the former never made sense to me)
- You can delete replies to spouts that are abusive (apparently, I haven’t had to do this yet though I did get a porn bot which I reported and had no idea I could delete it)
The only issue so far is the lack of video support. This is understandable and the founders address it, saying that video takes up so much bandwidth that it would be expensive to be able to host it before Spoutible is financially self-supporting.
While video does feature on Twitter, it isn’t a huge part of what the platform is for. People who want to post and engage with video mainly or exclusively have TikTok and Instagram for that anyway.
And there we have it! If you’re thinking of joining or already on the site, please consider giving me a follow (clickety click here)
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