Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

If Twitter Disappears, Where Do We Go?


by Zakiya N. Jamal


At the end of October 2022, Elon Musk bought Twitter. Since his tenure as CEO began, a majority of the Twitter staff have quit and he’s made a number of questionable decisions, such as offering anyone Twitter verification for $8 and reactivating previously banned accounts. Now, many people feel this is the beginning of the end for Twitter, and some have already left the platform altogether. So, what does this mean for the book community?

#BookTwitter has been a home for authors, illustrators, and readers for nearly a decade now. It has been a space for creators to promote their work and connect with other people in the industry. Pitch contests like #PitchWars and #DVPit led many creators, especially marginalized creators, to getting agents and book deals. Thus it’s understandable to be worried about what will happen if Twitter does eventually fall. Thankfully, there are options.



As of right now, Hive appears to be the new chosen home for the book community. The app, which was first launched in October 2019, is a combination of various social platforms. For creators who prefer the written word over images and videos, Hive is mostly text based, like Twitter. Unlike Twitter, there is no character limit–at least, not yet. This gives the app the long form style of Tumblr, though since the app is only on mobile and not desktop (again, yet), most people have been keeping things short and sweet. You can also post images and GIFs with your posts, just like on Twitter. And for anyone who misses the days of Myspace, you can add a song to your profile page as well as a question box.

The app is currently running slowly because it is overwhelmed by the influx of new users that have joined, but this is the closest to a Twitter substitute we have so far and the book community is flocking there. Using hashtags #bookhive and #authorhive, it’s very easy to find readers, authors, and illustrators on this new platform. Even if you’re unsure of committing to a whole new platform, I suggest grabbing your username just in case anyway. 



An early alternative to Twitter, Mastodon was launched in 2016 as a “free, open-source decentralized social media platform.” What this means is that the code which makes Mastodon what it is can be used and changed by anyone. So unlike Twitter, where what is shared there is shared only on Twitter, Mastodon is a collection of servers that are linked together and owned by different people or groups. 

Because of this, many people are unsure about the level of safety and security that exists on Mastodon, and it seems most creators have strayed away from the platform. However, if you’re looking for something that is a mix of Twitter and Discord, this could be the place for you, though it may be more difficult to reach the right audience there.


TikTok, Instagram, & Tumblr

Of course there are already plenty of other social media platforms. TikTok, Instagram, and Tumblr are the biggest for the book community (in that order). If you’re already on any of these platforms, it’s totally fine to just stick with those rather than trying something new. But if none of these are your jam, it may be worth giving Hive or Mastodon a try.



As of right now, Twitter is still standing, and unless it feels unsafe for you I recommend sticking around. To protect your space you can make your account private (so that no one new can follow you), close your direct messages (so that only people you follow can message you), and set your notifications to only people you follow.

In case Twitter does kick the bucket, make sure to download an archive of your tweets. To do this, go to your settings → “Your Account” → “Download an archive of your data.” You’ll need to verify your information by re-entering your password and then getting a verification code sent to your email or phone. Once you enter the code, you can request your archive. It typically takes about a day to get an email to download and then you’ll receive a zip file of all your tweets. Whether or not you plan to ever use them, it’s good to have a record of your time there.


Zakiya N. Jamal was born in Queens, raised in Long Island, and currently resides in Brooklyn. In other words, she’s a New Yorker through and through. She holds a BA in English from Georgetown University and a MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in Writing for Children and Young Adults from The New School. She has been published in CatapultRomperBuzzFeed,, and more. Her non-fiction essay about her “Cuban Impostor Syndrome” is featured in the Latinx anthology Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed.