Besides Twitter, what platforms do social media intelligence researchers focus on?

Twitter has changed its name to X, but is still under siege by its competitors. Numerous similar social media platforms are trying to compete for Twitter's large user base by capitalizing on the brewing discontent.

This article will focus on five social media platforms that are strong competitors to Twitter, examining what resources they can provide for social media intelligence (SOCMINT) collection and research.

1. Threads

Meta launched Threads, a clean and simple communication application that combines the functions of Twitter and Instagram, and quickly amassed more than 30 million users on the day of its launch. Its interface is simple and easy to operate, suitable for quickly collecting and analyzing information. At the same time, Threads focuses on users' social activities, facilitating social media intelligence researchers to study users' social networks, interests and preferences.

2. Mastodon

Mastodon is an open-source social media platform created in 2016 and characterized by decentralization. The distributed design makes Mastodon free from the control of a single company and suitable for collecting information from different sources. In addition, Mastodon focuses on user ownership, with users owning their own data and platforms, providing an opportunity to gather first-hand information.

3. BlueSky

BlueSky is also a decentralized platform, founded by a former Twitter employee, with an emphasis on data privacy and security. The platform is currently in beta and accepts registration by invitation only.

4. Spill

Spill is an anonymous social media platform that aims to build diverse communities where users can post content such as text, videos, photos, links and polls. Although Spill is still in the invite-only phase, it has become one of the most downloaded apps in the Apple App Store.

5. Truth Social

Founded by former U.S. President Donald Trump's team, Truth Social provides users with a platform to post uncensored content that can be used to research users' opinions and motivations.

In short, the characteristics of the different platforms offer a variety of ways to gather and analyze social media intelligence. Whether it's the clean and simple Threads, the decentralized Mastodon and BlueSky, the anonymous Spill, or Truth Social for conservative users, each platform meets the needs of researchers to varying degrees and can serve as a useful tool for gaining insights into users' behaviors, interests, and motivations.