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Spill: An alternative to Twitter formed by two of its former employees

Spill: An alternative to Twitter formed by two former employees
Spill has garnered 20,000 reservations in less than 12 hours fo its announcement.


Two former Twitter employees Alphonzo “Phonz” Terrell and DeVaris Brown have built an alternative to Twitter called Spill. The real-time conversational platform, Spill, is claimed to put culture first and is expected to serve as a refuge for creators from Black Twitter.


Terrell, who is the chief executive officer at Spill, served as Twitter’s global head of Social and Editorial until he was laid off last month among thousands of others. In the past, he had led award-winning teams at HBO, Showtime, Def Jam, and Sony Music. Brown, on the other hand, is the chief technology officer at Spill and has previously worked as the product manager lead at the microblogging site. He left Twitter in 2020 to build his own startup Meroxa, a code-first data application platform built for developers. Both bonded over being Black employees at Twitter.


Spill Phonz Tweet


“As such, we are building Spill using large language model AI to improve content moderation and user support, blockchain technology to credit and reward creators, and partnerships with major entertainment brands to break exclusive content worth talking about,” Spill’s website stated.


“Most critically, we are focused on rewarding creators who frequently set new trends yet are routinely overlooked – especially Black women, the queer community and many other vibrant communities outside the U.S.,” it added.


Similar to Twitter’s tweets, Spill will have a live news feed where users can post “spills.” According to a TechCrunch report, the platform is also building a feature called “tea parties“ wherein users can host both online and in-real-life events and then get in-app bonuses to apply to things like boosting their posts. Further, Spill is expected to make a debut in about six to eight weeks.


The report further noted that the platform will use blockchain technology to chart how posts go viral and compensate the creators behind them. However, Terrell does not consider Spill a web3 thing. “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,” he said in the interview.


Amid what now seems as the never-ending saga of mass layoffs at Twitter, the platform’s weakening content moderation policies and a surge in fake accounts, several alternatives to Twitter have been emerging. Spill being one of them claims to create a safe space for its users and creators.


“This will probably be the first, from the ground up, large language content moderation model using AI that’s actually built by people from the culture,” Brown told TechCrunch in the interview.


“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. 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,” he added.


The app has garnered 20,000 reservations in less than 12 hours fo its announcement. “Thank you for love, the feedback, the skepticism and the numerous offers of support – you have no idea how much this means,” Terrell tweeted.

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