Is Reddit the new Twitter?
Has Twitter — or should we say “X” — strayed too far from the platform we once knew and loved? With X’s monthly active user numbers taking a dip since Elon Musk took the reins, Reddit is next in line to be crowned the go-to platform for copy-based content.
From Twitter to X
Elon Musk officially acquired Twitter in October 2022 and since then there’s been a number of big and interesting changes that are worth noting.
Of course, we must start by addressing the elephant in the room: Twitter’s rebrand into “X.” In an interview from November 2022, Elon first unveiled his plans for “X, the everything app.” Here’s everything Twitter/X has released since, in service of this mission.
Perhaps most notably, Elon introduced subscription memberships to increase revenue and reduce bots. For the most part, these subscription memberships allow users to prioritize content (prioritize posts in their feed as well as comments on posts), unrestricted access to the platform, and generally an easier and better X experience. Although this was a controversial move at first, many other social media platforms have since announced subscription memberships — although X’s more recent plans to charge all users a small fee for app access has once again caused a stir.
In 2023, X has also placed a greater focus on DMs and the introduction of video features such as video calls and streaming features for gamers. There’s also been some competition with LinkedIn since X’s new job search tool went live.
However, in many ways X has become increasingly problematic over the past year in tandem with extensive criticism around Musk’s penalization of particular news sources, issues around ads not being properly declared or labelled, and an overall unpredictability and inconsistency around the rules with which X users are expected to comply. This doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of Musk’s personal behavioral issues, like the antisemitic post he liked in November 2023 that caused a great uproar (quite rightly) and led to a big loss of advertisers for X, as well as revenue for the year.
The introduction of Community Notes is also worth highlighting as an interesting move on X’s part as this new feature acts to protect the platform against misinformation by relying on X’s own community to call out fake news and misinformation. Although seemingly well-intentioned, this feature leaves a lot of room for misinformation to fall through the cracks and not be called out as it should.
All in all, Musk’s leadership has felt ambitious, but occasionally also rash, reckless, and indecisive, and is beginning to earn X a reputation for being a platform with lower standards than other social media apps (which is problematic, if you ask us).
The rise of Reddit
Now that we’ve touched on X’s status, let’s talk about Reddit a little. For those who are unfamiliar, Reddit is a community-centric platform where users come together to share content around hobbies, similar interests, news, and so much more in a forum-style structure. Like X, a great deal of the content is copy-based, although you can also post videos and images on the platform.
While on the surface, it might not seem like Reddit and X have all that much in common, some may consider Reddit to be a more in-depth version of X.
While X content is generally short-form and focuses on breaking news or celebrity updates, Reddit allows for much more in-depth long-form discussion and knowledge sharing — which could very well be part of its appeal compared to X. Reddit as a platform, while being more community-based, also has a more down-to-earth vibe in general. While X comes with influencers and celebrities, Reddit is, for the most part, just ordinary people sharing their opinions, knowledge, and thoughts — many of which are from anonymous accounts.
In an era where authenticity and small communities are especially popular, Reddit could be providing what X had nearly accomplished by taking a copy-centric platform and using it to harness greater connection, communication, and intimate conversation. The most notable difference between X and Reddit is the quick-fire and snappy nature of X updates versus the detailed and in-depth content you’re more likely to find on Reddit. Could it be that X users are tired of the concise nature of the platform and are heading to Reddit in search of meatier content around the topics that interest them most?
It's also worth highlighting how Reddit’s structure of upvoting/downvoting content allows the content and direction to remain in the hands of the users, which is a high contrast in regards to how trending content is controlled by media outlets, algorithms, and influencers on X. Reddit is also not as fast-paced as X can be with its real-time updates, while the lifespan of content on Reddit can also be much longer. Naturally, this could be another reason why users may be tempted by the more evergreen, discussion-based nature of the platform as an alternative to X, which can sometimes feel too focused on announcements and news rather than on genuine conversation.
With the current social media landscape heading in a more authentic and community-based direction, and given the wobbly status of X, users could very well find comfort in Reddit as an alternative platform base. Reddit, after all, offers much of what we once loved about Twitter, but with additional perks such as deeper long-form discussions and a user-led feed.
Or we could just... you know... pop over to Threads.