Spilling The Tea on The Spill App Success 

Apr 18, 2024

Industry Trends

Spilling The Tea on The Spill App Success 

The Spill app success story has left many bewildered.

When Alphonzo Terrell received an email from X on November 4th, 2023 telling him he was amongst the 3,700 other employees being let go, he knew just what to do. 

Terrell called up friend and long time colleague DeVaris Brown, and they spent the night coming up with their solution to the X problem. After working in social media and tech for years, Terrell knew that there was a serious need for online safety and support for marginalised communities. 

The down spiral of X was merely the tip of the iceberg. For years, minority communities such as Black women and LGBTQIA+ people have been major drivers of culture both on and offline. Yet, they also face the most amount of harassment. 

Terrell and Brown’s solution? Spill. An app that aims to drive culture, form communities, and support its members. So far, the Spill app success story has been immense. 

Yet, does it have what it takes to stand the test of time? 


Originally launched in January of 2023, Spill describes itself as a “visual conversation at the speed of culture”. 

The app seeks to “make connecting through real-time conversation easier, safer, and more rewarding”. Spill is visual first, allowing users to share text, images, videos, GIFs and more with their followers. Typically, users take pre-existing images or memes and attach new meaning to them, giving the app a meme-aesthetic that is incredibly popular. 


Download #SPILL & use code GETFREE at sign-up! ☕️✨

♬ original sound – SpillMob

When a user uploads a “spill”, the app claims it is “brewing your tea”. The “spill board” contains the hottest 10 spills, and people can use hashtag tickers, comment in unique ways, and even select from a variety of colour options. Spills are shown in reverse chronological order, but also have both vertical and horizontal scroll tools. All together, this creates a highly personalised app that stands out from the corporate feel of platforms like X and Facebook. 

Yet, what makes Spill so staunchly different to apps that came before it, is its approach to online safety. 

When Terrell and Brown created Spill, they sought to “provide a safer and more diverse community for ‘culture drivers’, which primarily includes the Black community”. The reign of Musk on X has made online safety an increasingly hot topic. The platform was even crowned as the most dangerous platform for LGBTQ people on GLAAD’s 2023 Social Media Safety Index report. 

As such, creating a safe space online for marginalised communities to not only exist, but thrive, is becoming more important than ever. In Terrell’s words, “If you’re queer, you’re in certain, historically targeted groups overseas, it’s awful to be online and be on social”.


Have you joined the spill app yet? #spillapp #Twitter

♬ original sound – Bcurrent

Spill not only addresses this issue, but is making it a part of its very soul. 

During app development, Spill was sure to work with people across a wide array of minority groups. In fact, the app’s anti-harassment AI tools were trained by the very people these tools typically fail the most. The platform has strived hard to fine-tune its Ai tools to better identify hate speech and harmful content; something many other social platforms struggle to control. 

In doing so, Spill is establishing itself as a safe place for communities to grow and exist side by side. 

So far, it’s working, with the Spill app success story flooding the internet. Spill was the third most downloaded app on the Apple app store in July of 2023, and it received hundreds of thousands of downloads in the week’s after Musk’s purchase of Twitter. 

Nowadays, it’s home to major celebrities like Keke Palmer, Lizzo and Questlove, all sprinting to get a taste of the Spill app success. 

It’s also collected quite the impressive array of sponsors. 

Unlike other young social media platforms, Spill has dived head first into advertising dollars. Lionsgate was the first to try out Spill’s brand new ad format, “First Spill”. The new ad slot allows brands to be the very first ad that shows up on users’ feeds. 

Other big names such as BET Networks, BET+, Variety, Horizon Media and UNCMMN have worked with the app too to create sponsored experiences such as exclusive content and partnerships with creators. 

Ultimately, it seems like Spill has all its ducks in a row to achieve sustainable success in the long run. Yet, why are users so enamoured with the platform? And, should brands be considering joining?


The Spill app success story hinges on the fact that it is unlike any other platform currently available. 

Many social media app’s try to position themselves as community first and user driven. BeReal, famously, built its platform off of this idea. Yet, they ultimately fail, as they are not built by the communities they claim to protect. On top of this, they typically do not have proper safety measures in place to help foster and support users.


Are you on SPILL yet? If so drop your handle. It’s still in BETA but so far i can see this being so fun!#greenscreenvideo #spillthetea #SPILLapp #socialmediamanager #rnbvibes #newapp #blacktwitter

♬ fukumean – Gunna

Spill, on the other hand, is built by and for the people. Community is in its very soul, and this is what makes it so successful with users. It has not rushed its release, but rather prioritised ensuring its platform is as perfect as possible. Its makers have been clear with their intentions from the get go, and have not strived to take a TikTok “appease everyone” route; instead, Terrell and Brown have owned their morals and made them a part of Spill from the very beginning. 

For brands, now is the perfect time to start investigating Spill. The platform is a fantastic way to reach your target audience in a genuine, authentic manner. Its community, safety driven mantra is perfect for brands wanting to connect with their audience person-to-person, not from a brand vantage point. Be sure to jump in now, before the app becomes inevitably full of other brands scrambling to join in on the Spill app success. 


It’s time for other social media platforms to take note of the Spill app success story. 

Consumers love Spill because it is not trying to be another Twitter or another Instagram. Sure, it has elements of these platforms, but what new social media app doesn’t? Spill is in a territory all of its own. A territory filled with genuine connection, hilarious memes, and culture.

Culture is the beating heart of Spill. Culture is the beating heart of humans. Culture is the beating heart of pretty much everything. 

This is what will help Spill stand the test of time. This is what will give it the power to achieve sustainable success. It won’t be long before we are all rushing to spill our tea. 

Our influencer marketing agency and social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to find industry insights, visit our influencer marketing and social media blogs.

@ Socially Powerful


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Ella Proctor

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