Hours after the Texas Rangers defeated the Houston Astros on Monday night to advance to the World Series, Rangers right fielder Adolis Garcia posted 29 blushing face emojis On X, the social platform once known as Twitter.
This was a message to Astros fans who had criticized him during his at-bats. Dozens of Rangers fans immediately appeared. Sports journalists shared the post, and hundreds of other comments about the Rangers’ victory immediately followed.
Ever since Elon Musk purchased Twitter last year, many unpopular changes have caused many users to abandon the platform. Others have declared it dead.
But just as many homes are glued to cable for sports broadcasts, sports fans and sports journalists still consider X indispensable because, they say, it provides live updates and hot information about coaching decisions and umpire calls. It remains a favorite place for.
For some journalists, leaving thousands of followers and starting from scratch somewhere else was a nonstarter. Many fans didn’t want to leave the communities where real friendships were formed between people who first interacted as strangers. And while some functions have changed on the platform, X essentially works as usual when it comes to catching scores and watching highlights.
Lisa Delpy Neroti, associate professor of sports management at George Washington University, said sports fans had multiple sources for in-depth coverage, but the real-time nature of X made it an ideal place to consume game updates and breaking sports news. made.
“If a coach gets fired, or a player gets sold,” she said, “boom, I’m looking at my Twitter feed.”
Sports aren’t the only reason some people stay on X. Many people continue to use it to post or gain information on politics, pop culture, and other topics. But sports enthusiasts are among the most loyal users, making up about 42 percent of the depending on the platform, X did not respond to requests for comment.
“If you’re satisfied why move on?” Professor Delpi Neroti said. “People are creatures of habit, and if they’re still getting the content they want and need, they have no need to move.”
One reason Sports Twitter has remained active during the turmoil of the Musk era is that the alternatives that have emerged are less attractive to sports fans. Meta’s rival app, Threads, displays posts to a user’s feed through algorithms rather than in real time, making live events harder to follow. Bluesky, which was funded by Twitter’s founder, Jack Dorsey, shows posts in reverse-chronological order, but the app remains invitation-only and less active than Twitter.
kennedy landryThe 25-year-old, who covers the Rangers for MLB.com, said she noticed that some of the people she followed on X were gone last year, but “it still feels like the fan base “The conversation with is positive for the most part.”
In addition to interacting with readers, Ms. Landry also uses X to share links to her articles and live-tweet during games.
“As long as that’s going on, and it feels like I’m still interacting with the fan base in a way that’s favorable,” she said, “it doesn’t feel necessary for a complete change right now.”
josiah johnsonhost of Gill’s ArenaNBA Podcast stated that despite the changes on X, its feed remained largely intact. Mr Johnson said he recently signed up for the threads to see what it was like, but with more than 260,000 followers on X, it’s not easy to give up.
“It’s hard for me to want to go somewhere else and give up all the work that I’ve done,” he said. “I’m a Twitter guy. That’s it. I will stay on the ship regardless.”
Within the sports Twitter sector, there are small communities of sports fans and journalists who post regularly about a specific team or sport. There’s Tennis Twitter, F1 Twitter, and Yankees Twitter. And for Shannon Antti of Colleyville, Texas, there is Texas Rangers Twitter.
Ms. Anti signed up for Twitter in 2009 or 2010 to stay connected with her favorite hosts on The Ticket, a sports radio station in Dallas. She said she stayed on the app to post about her favorite baseball team and stay connected with it.
At first, she said, “I was just tweeting into the ether.”
As more people signed up for the app, Ms. Anti said she saw a community take shape. Over time she became friends with some of those Rangers fans, even meeting some in person.
“I think these are all people I initially came in contact with because they tweeted,” she said. “It’s hard to imagine now because we’re good friends on top of that, but originally it was because of Rangers Twitter.”
Ms. Anti said she had noticed that some of the people she followed had stopped using X in recent months.
“But those people are not sports people,” she said. “Sports Twitter just stayed put.”
While many sports fans have stuck with X, some have left the app. Cassie LaBella, 49, a Chicago native who lives in Seattle, used Twitter to stay connected with the Chicago Bears and Cubs.
“It was like the fourth person in our family watching the game,” he said. “We’ll have my husband, my son, me and my phone.”
But after Mr. Musk took over, Ms. LaBella said she became concerned about security at X. She left the platform in the spring, and was an early adopter of Threads, which was introduced in July. Ms. Labella said she enjoyed using Threads, but it wasn’t like Twitter anymore.
“As humans, we want to connect with other humans, and I think Twitter before Musk was a really interesting tool to do that,” she said. “It helped us connect even though we were online.”