Former Twitter employees have created a new Twitter alternative called Spill, which has been gaining attention and attracting users such as Questlove and Lizzo. The app started gaining popularity around the same time Twitter implemented restrictions on the number of posts users could see. It quickly climbed the rankings on Apple’s App Store, becoming the third most downloaded app and the top downloaded social media app.
Spill, launched in mid-June, aims to compete with Twitter and was designed by Alphonzo Terrell and DeVaris Brown, former Twitter employees. The app initially peaked at number 100 on Apple’s top-downloaded social media list but gained significant momentum after Elon Musk announced Twitter’s post viewings limitations. Terrell envisions Spill as a platform for cultural discussions and believes people are eager to explore new spaces.
While Spill offers a live news feed like other social media platforms, it focuses on visual content, allowing users to easily post text over photos, videos, and GIFs. Instead of tweeting, users “spill,” a term derived from the popular expression “spill the tea,” which refers to sharing gossip. The app incorporates hashtags like #bookspill for book recommendations and #EssenceFest for sharing videos from the New Orleans music festival. Users show appreciation for posts by tapping a teacup, and they refer to themselves as “Spillionaires.”
Although Spill is open to everyone, Terrell and Brown created it as a safe online space for Black people and members of the LGBTQ community. These groups often face targeted hate speech on other platforms, despite being trendsetters on social media. Spill employs artificial intelligence and human moderators to monitor and prevent hate speech, emphasizing a sense of community and rejecting division.
Currently, Spill operates on an invite-only basis, common for apps in the testing phase. Users need a code from someone already on Spill or can join the waitlist on the app’s website. The app is currently available only on Apple’s operating system, but an Android version is being developed.
Within just three days, over 100,000 people have joined Spill, including notable figures like Questlove, who encouraged his Twitter followers to join the app. Lizzo also expressed interest in joining Spill, seeking a sign-up code on Twitter. Celebrities such as Amber Riley, Sinqua Walls, and Antoinette Robertson are reportedly using the app as well.
In addition to Spill, there are other Twitter alternatives in the market. Meta Platforms, the owner of Facebook, plans to release a Twitter competitor called Threads. Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, supports Bluesky, another invitation-only app formed within Twitter and later launched as an independent organization. Mastodon, another social media platform, has also gained prominence in recent months. However, despite the growing number of new startups, none have emerged as a direct rival to Twitter thus far.