Here are the basic facts about the controversial renaming and rebranding of the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
What happened ?
On July 23 Twitter officially rebranded to X. Although X Corp had already become the successor to Twitter when Elon Musk made his purchase, the logo and URL had not been updated to reflect this change in leadership. Now the logo is no longer the blue bird and x.com redirects to twitter.com. Tweets are also now called X’s.
Why did Twitter rebrand?
Elon Musk has plans to expand X into an “everything app” that encompasses messaging, banking, and entertainment. CEO Linda Yaccarino commented, “X is the future state of unlimited interactivity — centered in audio, video, messaging, payments/banking — creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities” in a post made on X.
What about Threads?
X’s direct competitor, Threads (owned and operated by Meta Platforms, AKA the company behind Instagram and Facebook) launched on July 5. Threads functions very similarly to Twitter.
For now, in order to make a Threads account you must first have an Instagram account. To join, you have to download the Threads app and then log in via your Instagram account. This also means that you cannot delete your Threads account without also deleting your Instagram account.
You then will have the choice to automatically follow all of your Instagram followers who also made Thread accounts.
Your threads feed will be a combination of the people you follow as well as an algorithmic feed composed of accounts you don’t follow.
Currently there is no easy way to use Threads on your desktop.
What about Bluesky?
Bluesky is a decentralized social media app (meaning data is stored over a network of servers instead of just one) created by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The app is like a no-frills version of Twitter; users can make posts, repost others’ content, reply, report offensive content, follow other users, and join feeds on certain topics. There is not yet a private messaging feature, and the new app isn’t without its own controversies and bugs, but Bluesky has been steadily accruing fans who call it the best replacement for Twitter.
Bluesky is free to users, but is currently invite-only. The clamor for invitation codes has even started bidding wars on Ebay. (We don’t recommend you buy an invite code from anyone over the internet.)
What does this mean for kid-lit creators?
With so many options, many kid-lit creators are feeling confused on where they are supposed to keep in contact with their peers. Some left Twitter the minute Elon Musk bought the app, others have resigned themselves to staying forever. With a new platform seemingly coming out every month, it is too soon to tell what platform will be the most successful or popular among kidlit creators.
What if I can’t keep up with all of the different social media platforms?
Our recommendation is to focus on the social media platforms that you actually like to use. Don’t get caught up in trying to spread yourself thin over several platforms.
Each social media platform takes time to learn and each develops its own language. People will be able to tell the difference between those who have a genuine love of the platform and those who do not.
The most important thing to remember is to build your community off of these platforms as well. Whether that’s starting group chats with other authors, joining a critique group, or going to an SCBWI event in person or virtually, these will all help grow actual relationships where people will want to support each other, whether that is online or offline.