Elon Musk acquiring Twitter has caused a turbulence on the social media platform. The takeover has prompted many users to look for Twitter’s alternative. One of those is Mastodon, which shares similarities with the microblogging platform and gained over 70,000 new sign-ups on October 28, a day after the Twitter takeover completed – according to a news report in TechCrunch.
Started in 2016, Mastodon is a decentralised, open source and distributed social network. It consists of independent user-managed servers, each with its own theme, rules, language and policies on content moderation, code of conduct, terms of service and privacy etc. Users can select which server they want to be part of based on the policies. For instance, the most popular server is mastodon.social, with 817,219 users, and a Japanese server pawoo.net with 766,399 users.
Users on one server can connect with users on other servers. Like Twitter, users can follow other users and create posts that can be liked and retweeted, use hashtags, share media and more. Instead of tweets, however, Mastodon have “toots” with character limit of 500. While tweeting, it gives you three options – public, private, and direct.
The flagship server of the service is Mastodon.social, which is run by Mastodon gGmbH, a crowdfunded organisation. In most of the cases it allows you to communicate with people from other servers, unless the server is filtered, limited or suspended by the server that you are part of. The action could be taken for reasons like spreading misinformation, conspiracy theories and hate speech.
Mastodon works on the web or mobile, including native mobile apps. It also works on third-party apps like Tootle, Mast, tooot, Twidere X, Mercury for Mastodon, Tootter for Mastodon and more.
As more people flee Twitter, the official Mastodon mobile app saw a record number of downloads this weekend.
“Looks like #Mastodon is trending on Twitter as more and more people are announcing their new profiles. Welcome to the better social media that does not belong to a single company and cannot be sold, welcome to the fediverse!” tweeted Mastodon.