Hero Collective

words by

Ed Hunt

February 01, 2023

humanology newsletter

In thinking where next for Black Twitter, centering Black Joy will be key

Much has been made of the rise and fall, (and rise again?) of Twitter since its acquisition by Elon Musk in 2022. Rapid, substantive, and oftentimes unexpected changes in direction and infrastructure that have left many questioning the platform’s ongoing future.

Twitter’s impact on media and society in the 2010s cannot be overstated.

But look beyond the more traditional activism and it’s the platform’s ability to nurture community and creation that propels it forward. Somewhere that you want to spend time in and be a part of. Much of that community is driven by marginalized voices that have found and taken space within the platform. BIPOC, queer, indigenous, disabled.

Space to discover and learn shared histories. Space to affirm shared experiences. Space to gather around a moment or event and be a part of the collective consensus. Space to create, and just be plain entertaining.

And no one does this better than Black Twitter. Centering Black joy and defiant self-expression in real-time, the contributions Black creators make to culture through the platform are what keeps it influential and relevant. Verzuz battles. Love Island UK. Even the Insecure writers look to Black Twitter for inspiration.

These contributions are often overlooked and underacknowledged by the platform and brands alike. But when brands recognize their value, the results speak for themselves, whether it be building relationships and community with an audience through @strongblacklead, or the meteoric success of the Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich launch.

Twitter’s influence and relevance (especially to brands) is dependent on acknowledging Black creators and the spaces they have built. And while the platform may have largely maintained their presence for now, a number of Black-owned alternatives have already begun to gain traction. Somewhere Good and Spill are two to note.

Their success will be dependent on convincing enough creators to build their communities elsewhere, whilst offering an experience that nurtures the creative joy and real-time conversation that propelled Black Twitter at the beginning.

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