Ever since Tesla CEO Elon Musk took over Twitter, Black users have been wondering what would happen to Black Twitter; some say his ownership would be doomsday for the Twitter subculture. There is now a Black Twitter alternative called Spill.
According to Nielsen, in 2018, in the U.S., approximately 28 percent of Twitter’s 67 million users were Black people (double this segment’s 14 percent share of the total population), and 40 percent of African Americans are on Twitter.
Black people have informally formed Black Twitter, an Internet community largely consisting of African-American users on the social network.
Following Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in October, hate speech and slurs against Black users have soared. Many popular users from Black Twitter have abandoned the platform.
Former Twitter employees have gone on to launch Spill in hopes of luring in Black Twitter.
Here are three things to know.
Spill founders are Alphonzo “Phonz” Terrell and DeVaris Brown, who both worked at Twitter..
“We were the only two Black guys in there, and we were like, ‘Hey, we’ll be friends!’” Terrell told TechCrunch.
Terrell had been Twitter’s global head of Social & Editorial until November, when he became one of the thousands of employees laid off after Musk’s takeover. Brown had been a product manager lead at Twitter and exited Twitter in 2020 to found Meroxa, a Series A startup that is a data streaming platform designed to create a real-time data infrastructure.
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They describe Spill as “a real-time conversational platform that puts culture first.”
According to Terrell and Brown, they have wait list of sign-ups of 20,000 for Spill, Business Insider reported. The duo said that the platform will launch in about six to eight weeks.
Spill will use blockchain technology to chart how posts go viral and compensate the creators behind them, TechCrunch reported.
“It’s not a web3 thing,” Terrell told TechCrunch. “But the use of blockchain is for both crediting creators and setting up a model for us to compensate them automatically. If they have a spill that goes viral and we monetize it, it’s really effective.”
Terrell said that creators will “absolutely get real cash” in U.S. dollars, not cryptocurrency.
Like Twitter, Spill will have a live news feed where users can post “spills.” They’re called “spill” after the phrase “spill the tea,” said Terrell.
“While Spill is for everyone, we are catering to culture drivers who frequently set new trends yet routinely get overlooked and under compensated,” Terrell tweeted. “Yes, we mean Black creators, Queer creators, and a variety of influential voices outside the U.S.”
Spill founders Alphonzo “Phonz” Terrell (L) and DeVaris Brown (R) (Photo: Spill website, https://www.spill-app.com/team)