Twitter Alternative SPILL Takes Off Online

SPILL is the latest trending Twitter replacement. Credit: RaShawn Dixon / Mashable

With more limits and money-based restrictions than ever, Twitter isn’t doing much to reassure users eager to leave the platform in the past.

In response to Elon Musk’s slow drag, other platforms are swiftly moving to recover Twitter’s migrating user base, launching bonafide clones of the iconic single-feed scroll, like Meta’s soon-to-launch Threads. 

So while many users beg for the return to old, tech companies are instead offering an overwhelming amount of choice, including a rising, Black-owned alternative known as SPILL(opens in a new tab). Following a surge in interest this week after Twitter’s most recent changes, the app (originally launched in June) is now ranked third among the top free apps in the App Store and first on the store’s top free social networking apps.

What is the SPILL app? Unlike many other platforms, SPILL has a much more focused user base in mind — and it says it’s not trying to be like Twitter. Created by former Twitter employees Alphonzo “Phonz” Terrell and DeVaris Brown in collaboration with Black creatives like April Reign, equity adviser and creator of the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, the app is intended to foster a safer, more diverse community for what the founders call “culture drivers.” 

“Our thesis was if we could build a platform from the ground up that caters to these groups, these culture drivers, and then solve the core problems that they’re facing, that our community is facing more specifically, that would make for a better experience for everyone,” Terrell explained in an exclusive with AfroTech(opens in a new tab).

For Twitter, those culture drivers are usually part of the Black community, often non-credited creators of the internet’s common vernacular and memes. Since Musk’s takeover, these users and creators have had to reckon with their standing and protection on the platform(opens in a new tab). And for the last month, several popular accounts have started migrating over to SPILL — what some are calling a “new home” for Black Twitter. 

Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) Who can join SPILL?SPILL is currently only available on iOS. A version for Android users is still in development(opens in a new tab).

While there’s no specific restrictions set on who can join, SPILL’s goal is to create safe spaces for diverse users. Given rising numbers of hate and harassment online, especially for marginalized groups, preserving safer online spaces has become more important than ever. 

Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) How can I join SPILL?SPILL is currently in limited beta testing, which means interested users need an invitation code from a current user in order to create an account. With a wave of popularity over the weekend, the platform had to temporarily halt new users(opens in a new tab). 

Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) If you can’t get an invitation, SPILL also has a running waitlist(opens in a new tab) for beta testers. 

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