Stop Using Twitter For Comics

If you're an artist posting your comics exclusively to Twitter, please, I beg you, stop.


Why it's bad

Twitter is designed to only show users the newest things. All your hard word will get buried under newer posts, and you'll be threatened to keep rapidly churning out new content to stay relevant.


There is no way to look at a user's post archive. The only way to look at older comics is to take the long, slow, arduous crawl of scrolling to the bottom of the page, waiting for it to load older posts, scroll down again, repeat. This is especially bad for a series meant to be read in chronological order. If I have to do that, I'm sorry, but I'm not going to read your comic, no matter how good it looks.


For someone trying to read on mobile, it's even worse. Twitter literally prevents users from scrolling down, forcing a big pop-up in front of them that cannot be closed. Twitter actively prevents people from reading your comics by putting big barriers in the way.


This "only show the newest" algorithm Twitter uses means that there's no way to effectively subscribe to a comic. There's no way to follow and get notified about new pages. Sure, if you have a Twitter account, Twitter *might* decide you are worthy of seeing posts from the accounts you chose to be notified about, but maybe not. And besides, you'll have to do the long scroll through your feed again to get to where you left off. Not worth it.


Readers can't save their place as they're reading through the older comics. On a normal website you could just keep a bookmark of your current place, but the way Twitter is built prevents that.


Twitter compresses the hell out of any images that's uploaded there. If you want your art to be looking its best, don't use Twitter.


Twitter is just a poorly engineered website all around. Somehow the social media platform designed around showing people just 256 characters has become one of the most bloated, slow, data-hogging websites around. It's impractical to read Twitter from a mobile connection. https://nitter.net can help with this a little, but Twitter purposefully limits them. And no, the app does not make it better.


In fact, almost all forms of social media are a bad way of sharing your comics. That goes for Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Mastodon, Instagram, Amino, etc.


What they *can* be used for is to supplement your comics. Use them as a channel to promote it, show some behind the scenes stuff, give updates on what's happening, talk with fans, announce whenever a new page is released and link to it. Put a link to your comic's website prominently in your profile.


What to use instead

There are far, far better options to pick from. I've picked out a variety of options here for differing levels of commitment.


ComicFury

https://comicfury.com/


Free webcomic hosting. Very easy to set up with pre-made themes, while extendable if you want to dig deeper. Comment section built in. No ads. Great RSS support. Helpful forums.


The Terms of Service explicitly state that you retain all rights to your uploaded works.


It has everything and no downsides!


Examples:

Friendship is Dragons

Foxy Flavored Cookie

McComicFury (scroll view)


WebToons/Tapas

https://www.webtoons.com

https://tapas.io/


No need to set up themes, but has no options for customization outside a header image. Simply upload and it handles the rest. Built in comment section. Popular, so works will be visible. Ad supported platform.


RSS support is subpar. Only shows the first part of a comic in a low resolution.


Webtoon's layout is unique, expecting a vertical scrolling layout. You may have to adjust the layout of your comics accordingly. If you want your comics to have more traditional pages, use Tapas instead.


Examples:

(WebToons) My Giant Nerd Boyfriend

(Tapas) Magiform


Tumblr

One of the only social media websites that is designed with the ability to read past posts in mind. (Though I personally request you include a "Start From Beginning" button too linking to the first comic.) It's fit for comics and provides an easy way for fans to interact by using the "Ask" button.


Ad supported platform.


Tumblr has started putting up a login wall on Tumblr searches, but at least unlike Twitter, it's not blocking users if they're scrolling through a blog. This could change in the future though.


Comments on Tumblr are notorious for being difficult to read. They're there, but if this is a high priority for you, you might want a different solution.


Example:

Customer Service Wolf


Create your own website

Creating your own website is the most professional looking option. It will give you the most flexibility in the design. It is the hardest to implement, but good news! A lot of the work has already been done. Services like Wordpress already have themes specifically for comics already freely available.


Self hosting will give you the peace of mind that your comic won't suddenly evaporate from a ban. But third-party hosting is always an option. Keep a backup of your website's files.


xepher.net – Free hosting for creative people.


Examples:

Bug Martini (uses Easel)

Rusty and Co. (Uses ComicPress)

Easel Wordpress Plugin (Formerly ComicPress)


Housepets! comic (Uses Tuto)

Tuto Wordpress Theme


Inkblot Wordpress Theme


Rarebit, webcomic template for static sites.



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