X alternative Pebble (T2) announces shutdown in surprise move

Pebble, the microblogging platform earlier known as T2, which promised a “2007 Twitter” vibe, has announced its shutdown. Know all about it.

| Updated on: Oct 25 2023, 11:49 IST
Pebble is an alternative to X but is still at an invite-only stage. (Pebble)
Pebble is an alternative to X but is still at an invite-only stage. (Pebble)

Ever since Elon Musk took over the reins at X (formerly Twitter), the microblogging platform has undergone a myriad of changes, the majority of which have not pleased its users causing a virtual exodus. The removal of traditional verification methods, and adoption of temporary practices such as limiting the number of posts you can read, and the rebranding to X, has forced many to look for alternative platforms, such as Threads, Mastodon, and Bluesky Social. Another microblogging platform called Pebble (formerly T2) was in this race too but has seemingly lost ground. In fact, surprisingly, it has announced that it is shutting down.

Pebble announces shutdown

T2, the microblogging platform that can offer a “2007 Twitter” vibe according to Cofounder Gabor Cselle, is an upstart social platform founded by former Google and X employees. It was an attempt to recapture what made X special during its early days and build upon it to offer users a more classic take on the microblogging platform. While the platform offered promising X-like features to its almost 20,000 users, the number of daily active users had reduced to 3000, according to a TechCrunch report. Last month, T2 was rebranded to Pebble, following which its number of active users further dropped to 1000.

Now, the platform has announced that it is shutting down from November 1, partly due to the massive competition from other X alternatives such as Bluesky Social, Mastodon, and most recently, Instagram's Threads. 

Announcing this move, CEO Cselle wrote on Pebble, “Announcement from the Pebble Team: We have some sad news to share today. As of November 1, 2023, Pebble will be shutting down.”

Interestingly, the platform was never freely open to the public and is available only via an invite, similar to Bluesky Social.

Cselle said, “I think the competitive landscape evolved faster than we had thought. I didn't think that quite as many people — established organizations and newcomers — would try to do the same thing that we were doing and in very similar ways.”

Pebble's For You feature

This move comes as a shock as the platform announced a new ‘For You' feature last month to take on X. This new feature takes four things into consideration before the algorithm works its magic. It takes into account whether you are following the account, if its language is the same as your browser, if its topic matches your ‘Interests', and its recency. Therefore, it doesn't just aim to display trending content but tries to bring content that is fresh but relevant to your feed.

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First Published Date: 25 Oct, 10:52 IST