Spill the tea: Is Black Twitter ready for a great migration?
Since Elon Musk announced more Twitter sanctions, many Black Twitter users have turned to the new Black-owned social media platform, Spill.
Twitter recently released a new update that once again left many users questioning how long they’ll remain on the app. On Saturday, Elon Musk, who acquired the social media app in October of 2022 and has since instituted several controversial measures, announced further sanctions, limiting how many tweets users can read daily based on their subscription level.
“To address extreme levels of data scraping [and] system manipulation,” Musk tweeted. “[W]e’ve applied the following temporary limits: Verified accounts are limited to reading 6000 posts/day, unverified accounts to 600 posts/day, new unverified accounts to 300/day.”
Since acquiring the popular social media platform, Musk’s changes have included extreme company layoffs and paid account verifications, with questionable results. As a result, Twitter users have grown increasingly frustrated with the Tesla CEO interfering with the user experience they know, love, and have arguably built. Black Twitter, in particular, noted its disdain for the app’s everchanging regulations, so much so that masses of users have begun migrating to new platforms – BlueSky, Mastodon, and the buzzy new Black-owned app Spill among them — but not without cracking a few jokes on their way out.
“One thing about Black Twitter, we gon joke until the app shuts down,” tweeted one user in reaction to the trending term “Elon Musty.”
Founded by Alphonzo “Phonz” Terrell and DeVaris Brown, two former Twitter employees, Spill has become a promising new haven for Black Twitter. The rising social media platform was created specifically to drive away hate speech and celebrate “culture drivers.”
“While Spill is for everyone, we are catering to culture drivers who frequently set new trends yet routinely get overlooked and under-compensated,” tweeted Terrell in a thread introducing the platform. “Yes, we mean Black creators, Queer creators, and a variety of influential voices outside the U.S.”
“We’re going to be more intentional and be more accurate around things that will be deemed offensive because, again, this is our lived experience or learned experience,” said Brown in a TechCrunch interview. “It’ll be much more accurate to catch those kinds of things that will detract from the platform that would not lend to creating a safe space for our users and our creators.”
Coined as the “#SpillMigration,” flocks of Black Twitter users have already joined the new platform. In January, Brown and Terrell introduced Spill’s beta version into app stores, but the app is currently only accessible through invitation codes. Playing on both meme culture and the discussion-board style of Twitter, users who have been lucky enough to gain access confirm it’s the new place to be.
“Black Twitter OG’s discovering Spill,” tweeted one user.
Another user shared, “Spill is really a whole app of nothing but Black Twitter,”
“Spill is trending #1. You can’t tell me #BlackTwitter did not drive the bird app and make it what it is,” said one user.” With the #SpillMigration happening, we will see the new app thrive.”
Though it’s unknown if or when Spill will open its doors to everyone, the migration of Black Twitter would likely mark a sea change in social media — and Musk’s loss may prove to be Spill’s gain.
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