Mastodon is a Twitter alternative that has been around for 6 years. How does the platform work? Is this a credible option against Twitter?
Twitter now belongs to Elon Musk: the platform is a whole new world, in full transformation, around monetization projects, in particular. These changes, coupled with the frequent and often chaotic outbursts of the American multi-billionaire, have prompted some users to leave the network, seeking a new home for their daily thoughts. But she can be the alternative to a platform like Twitter ?
Mastodon, which has been around for about six years, seems to be a pretty popular choice. On the day of the takeover by Elon Musk, Mastodon registered 70,000 new users. As of this writing, the platform has around 655,000 active users.
What is Mastodon?
Mastodon is an open-source project launched by Eugen Rochko, who was a big fan of Twitter, before being deeply disappointed. Mastodon’s launch was partly funded through Patreon in 2016. The app was starting to gain popularity in 2017, already thanks to those looking to distance themselves from Twitter.
The network is in any case very interesting. As its Twitter account indicates, Mastodon “will never be sold” and empowers its users. He has also been described as leftist and “really less toxic” than his peers.
To get started on Mastodon, you can download the app via the App Store or Google Play or join a server on your browser.
Like Twitter, Mastodon has a newsfeed with toots (unlike tweets), which can be favorited or “boosted” (the equivalent of retweeting). Toots can also be bookmarked and users can be added to lists.
Unlike Twitter, content on Mastodon does not fall into a single common space. Mastodon is decentralized; the platform has a network of servers, “instances”. Users who register on the app must choose a server, the choice being made via the main subject and the language. There are categories – Technology, Music, Game, Art, etc. -. And the least we can say is that we find everything. From the server for kpop fans to the LGBTQIA+ tech employee community.
Some servers accept users immediately, others have a waiting list. The biggest is mastodon.social, the “original Mastodon server” which has around 126,000 active users at the time of this writing.
Although Twitter has its dedicated communities, Mastodon takes it a step further, which can be a plus for users, but also a drag for long-time Twitter users. Each server is managed by an independent organization or individual.
Mastodon could be entitled to its heyday, but many users will certainly remain on Twitter, whether the network survives or disappears… To be continued!