Twitter was even messier than usual this weekend. On Saturday, owner Elon Musk tweeted that Twitter would combat “extreme levels of data scraping,” by limiting accounts that don’t subscribe to Twitter Blue so that they could see only 600 posts per day. Once you hit the quota, almost any act on the site would trigger a “rate-limit exceeded” error.
After yet another moment of Musk-fueled chaos, users once again turned to some of the numerous Twitter competitors for refuge, which experienced a wild few days of growth.
Of all these new apps, Spill seemed to win the weekend. Founded by Black ex-Twitter employees, Spill’s goal is to build a social platform for diverse communities from the get-go, rather than as an afterthought. The app launched in a closed beta just a few weeks ago, but according to Spill, over 100,000 people created accounts on the app this weekend.
Spill has been successful at courting high-profile celebrities to join the app, including Keke Palmer and Ava DuVernay. This weekend, the iconic musician from The Roots, Questlove, tweeted a link promoting his Spill profile. Lizzo even took to Instagram and Twitter to see if she could score a Spill invite.
At the time of publication, Spill is ranked number one on the iOS App Store’s social networking chart, and number three overall.
“They tried to bury us,” tweeted Spill CEO Alphonzo “Phonz” Terrell. “They didn’t know we were seeds.”
The decentralized app funded by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, Bluesky, had a big weekend too. According to public data compiled by third-party developers, Bluesky jumped from about 184,000 users on Friday to about 238,000 users on Monday. These user numbers would be even more inflated, but Bluesky remains invite-only.
Post, a publisher-focused Twitter alternative, told TechCrunch that daily active users are up 4x and new signups are up 10x since Saturday, when Twitter users began experiencing rate-limit issues. Post declined to share exact user numbers.
Though Twitter’s temporary rate-limiting seems to have subsided, each massive error by the Musk-run platform pushes more users to explore other options. Mastodon, which conveniently launched on Android this weekend, was seen as an early front-runner among Twitter competitors. Before Musk bought Twitter, Mastodon had around 380,000 monthly active users. Within two months, the open source, federated platform had 2.5 million monthly active users. That number has since dropped to around 1.4 million, but that’s still more than triple its monthly active user base last year.
This summer, Meta is expected to enter the fray with its own Twitter clone, which is rumored to be called Threads. Let the games begin.