A lot of people feel the Elon takeover fast tracked Twitter’s slippery slide in to a cess pool of chaotic change and reduced moderation. And ever since people have been searching for the next new Twitter to evacuate their social self to.
Mastadon took up a lot of column inches. As did Discord and Post. But were they ever really a Twitter replacement, or just a different type of social situation?
A few months ago, in between those new news, there was mention of a little social site called T2. Founded by ex-Twitter developers it was tauted as being a nicer public town square on the internet. I signed up to the waiting list after reading and then promptly forgot about it in a flurry of hot takes on AI and Jack Dorsey’s Blue Sky.
Then last week I got an email saying it was my time to join the T2 social community. So I clicked the link and entered my details. Now here we are one week later. Time to present some of the things I’ve discovered about T2 and the community it is building. Mainly:
- What it’s like to use
- How it stacks up against Twitter
- What it’s burgoning community is like
A quick note on accessibility – unfortunately there are no means of embedding T2 posts on other websites at the moment. To demonstrate content I’ve had to resort to screen grabs. I’ve tried to capture the essence of the content in ALT tags.
Time to strap in, scroll through and consume my T2 thoughts in some bitesize H3 titled think points.
There’s no app
First thing is, there’s nothing to install. No app store to visit and no perma-pressence on your phone to track your every action. It’s purely browser based. You can pin an icon to your homescreen for quick access but that’s about it.
Pretty old school, but there is a reason…
The name is temporary
T2 is a reference to the fact they’re trying to build the next Twitter. But it’s not going to stick forever. Once critical mass is reached (or maybe a nice angel investor is hooked in) the name will be changed.
Talking of the current name though..
The name T2 gets most people making the same joke
Your profile info is standard
Profile info, and a lot of the overal look and feel of T2 is very similar to Twitter.
- Profile image
- A short bio
There’s also the option to add a connection to your Twitter account.
You can edit posts
Take that Twitter. Without even paying a penny you can edit your posts after sending them. There is a time limit though, but still, nice for correcting those errant typos that destroy any social media manager’s soul.
Posts look like tweets
Talking of posts, if you’re wondering what they look like, they look like Twitter but with a bigger font.That’s not the only thing they’re taking inspiration from…
Hashtags are a thing
Yup, you definitely can use, search and click on hashtags. To aid discoverability obvs. Talking of discoverability…
Discoverability is easy
After getting your profile set up, by default you see a feed of all content being shared. The literal firehose of fun splashing your feed with everything and anything that’s being said on T2.
This means your content is quite likely going to be seen. And there’s a good reason for that. It’s because the current userbase is tiny. Like around under 10,000 tiny.
T2 is a small community
Using T2 really does feel like pioneer times. A parochial small community where people are kind, friendly, and just want to share what’s going on in their world to see if there are other people that can relate. You know, like the early days of the internet before the general public came along and turned it in to the toxicity of real life we were all trying to escape.
T2 feels like the early days of internet, before the general public came and brought real world toxicity
It’s such a small community there’s even someone that literally welcomes all the new comers…
The welcome guy
Hats off to @limhi for being there for everyone as they first walk through the T2 door.
Limhi welcomed me within minutes of setting up my profile. So quick in fact I thought the account had to be a bot. But that’s because I’m a cynical burnout from the hate pit that is Twitter. Says more about me than anything else I guess.
It soon became apparent that Limhi is a real, super enthusiastic person that just wants everyone on T2 to feel welcome.
The pivot to video has yet to hit
One of the biggest lies of social was the 2015 great “pivot to video” spearheaded by Zucks over on Facebook. Thankfully T2 has yet to acknowledge that sham.
Although you can share visual posts in the form of photos, there is no means of adding video or live streams.
Not to say that won’t change in the future, but it’s a refreshing change from the constant barrage of auto-play that makes up the other channels.
Everything is in the open
At the moment, the only way of putting things on T2 is through public posts or mentions. There are no DMs to slide in to, no secrets that can be hidden.
Everything you say or do on T2 is there for all to see. Potentially a safeguarding decision, or something that’ll soon change and the creep towards hidden hate begins.
At the moment, it’s another refreshing change to see standard features that regularly get abused on other channels missing from T2.
Purple ticks for all
Like Twitter, and Instagram for that, T2 offers paid verification. Any one that can pony up the cash gets the purple tick.
But that’s not all you get. For the small one off fee of $5 not only do you get a tick, but you also get a 15 minute chat with the T2 co-founder @sarah. I’ve not clicked to call yet, so can’t comment on the content of the chat, or the benefits of getting a tick.
What’s the verdict on T2?
As I play around more with T2 there’s more chance I might get verified. It seems a pretty chill place at the moment. A laid back reclusive village hidden away in the noisy metropolis that is social media.
If you can get an invite (I have some spare if you’re interested) take trip to T2 and see for yourself. I’m there as @thematthorne if you want to swing by and say hello (although Limhi might beat me to saying hi back).
What the real test will be is if these vibes can scale the more people join. Sadly this jaded internet native thinks not. But really hope the world can prove me wrong.