Twitter's Weekend Blunder Led Hundreds of Thousands to Bluesky and Truth Social
This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - Big Blunder. Check out the full article for more insights.
Last weekend was rough for Twitter. On Saturday, many users started getting errors while scrolling through their feeds. Elon then tweeted that the platform is under heavy scraping and to prevent calamity, users are being rate limited. The limit increased over a few hours and eventually lifted altogether, but by that point, enough people were unable to use the platform.
Many complained, on Twitter, ironically. But others went looking for an endless timeline to scroll elsewhere.
Threads, Meta's Twitter clone, wasn't available yet, so where did those frustrated users go?
Truth Social, Bluesky, and a few even went to Mastodon.
Downloads of all three alternatives rose on Saturday and Sunday, and together, saw 400K new downloads in those two days. For Bluesky and Truth Social, Sunday was also the highest day of downloads since launch.
Mastodon, which is where I expected more people to land, grew the least in absolute terms. Daily downloads went from just about 1K in the previous week to 18K on Saturday and 67K on Sunday. They dropped on Monday but were still higher than their daily average.
Between Saturday and Wednesday, Mastodon's app was downloaded a total of 166K times from the App Store and Google Play, according to our estimates. And while high, this wasn't Mastodon's all-time high. That happened back in November when Elon took over Twitter.
Bluesky, which spun out of Twitter in 2021, was the second winner of this blunder. Bluesky Social was downloaded 66K and 118K times on Saturday and Sunday, according to our estimates. Sunday was also Bluesky's best day of downloads since launch.
Between Saturday and Wednesday, Bluesky welcomed 353K new downloads to its platform and in the process, managed to cross its first million downloads. As of Wednesday, the platform that launched in February had 1.2M downloads from the App Store and Google Play, according to our estimates.
Keep in mind, Bluesky requires an invite to use, so those downloads aren't users. Imagine what would happen if they lifted the requirement for the weekend.
The biggest winner of Twitter's blunder, however, was Truth Social, ex-president Donald Trump's social network.
Truth Social, which is in a bit of legal trouble right now for defrauding investors, saw downloads growing more than 5,000% and added 25K and 211K new users from the App Store and Google Play, according to our App Intelligence.
It grew the most of all three, adding 462K new downloads between Saturday and Wednesday. And like Bluesky, Sunday was the highest day of downloads for the platform. Ever.
This was a record week for alternative social networks, but now that Meta's Threads is out, I don't think it'll happen again.
If you haven't been following, Thread is a fairly basic copy of Twitter that ironically doesn't have support for threads. It exploded after being released ahead of schedule, which isn't surprising, and has left many Twitter users unsure where to exist.
I'll cover Threads next week.
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