5 Alternatives to Twitter

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Whether you love it or hate it, Twitter has changed the way people communicate. People can literally organize revolutions on Twitter using hashtags, experience events as they’re happening from across the country or have a conversation with their favorite celebrity. People use it to find interesting links, chat about TV and movies, share photos and videos, talk to their friends and even have “Twitter parties.” If you’re looking for an alternative to Twitter that offers all these things, the unfortunate truth is there isn’t one. You can, however, find good alternatives for some specific aspects of Twitter.

5 App.net

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Out of all these sites, App.net is the only one that bills itself as a Twitter alternative. Calling itself “what Twitter could have been,” when App.net launched in 2012 it required users to pay $50 to join. It now has a “freemium” edition with limitations: users can only follow 40 people, have data and storage limits and need to be invited by a current user. Really the only benefit to App.net is that it doesn’t have ads—hence why users are expected to pay for the full edition. Probably best for people who don’t use Twitter that much to begin with and hate promoted tweets. Really, really hate them.

4 Google Talk

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If you mainly use Twitter to chat with your friends, especially by direct message, why not move to Google Talk? You can chat with them via traditional instant messaging or through video on your computer or mobile device. Even better, Google Hangouts allows several people to chat privately at once, an option Twitter doesn’t offer with its direct-messaging service. Another plus is that there’s no character limit on messages, so you no longer have to send three tweets just to blow off steam about your boss.

3 Pheed

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Pheed launched in late 2012 and as of February 2013 was the No. 1 free social networking app in the iTunes store, beating out both Twitter and Facebook. Similar to Instagram but with text, music and video, Pheed allows users to add watermarks to their photos and video—see-through stamps that tell viewers who owns the content even if it’s copied from your account. Pheed’s end-user license agreement also maintains the user’s copyright and offers an option for channels to monetize their feeds per subscription. The app is very slick: You can like, dislike and “remix,” or share, posts and search channels for text, video, music and pictures. Good for people who prefer Pinterest or Tumblr over Twitter.

2 GetGlue

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If you use Twitter to tweet about entertainment like TV shows, sports or movies, GetGlue is the perfect alternative. You check-in to whatever you’re watching, and can earn stickers for the things you watch along the way. In addition to seeing your friends’ check-ins, you can see the comments other people have made about the topic and interact with the worldwide community by liking or commenting upon check-ins.

1 StumbleUpon

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If you use Twitter to find interesting links such as news or blog posts on the Internet, StumbleUpon is a good alternative. You can join different communities based on your interests, then rate sites and links with either a thumbs up or thumbs down. If you really like a link, you can “stumble,” or share, it. You can also comment on links or add them to lists. The site is very informal and has a word-of-mouth sensibility that makes it easy to see what’s trending in your favorite topics.

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