I have been using Twitter since 2009 and it has become a major source of news and information for me throughout the years. It has been a great ride, but the social media website is currently experiencing uncertainty since it was purchased by Elon Musk. Whether it weathers the sensational storm or not, the online town square has definitely changed and it may be time to find a suitable substitute.
Mastodon may very well become the alternative. I have read a few articles (several linked in this post) and decided to give Mastodon a try. Though the social media network is very similar to Twitter, there are some major differences.
If you are familiar with Twitter, Mastodon will not look odd and you should be able to pick up the basics easily. You follow people who in turn hopefully follow you back, but like with Twitter, that’s not always the case. Twitter has garnered an impressive membership roll of over 200 million users since it was formed in 2006. Meanwhile, Mastodon was founded in 2016 and just approached one million registered users.
I joined Mastodon almost two weeks ago and so far I love it for its greater sense of community. People seem much friendlier and more willing to reshare content. I plan to give it a go and see how the site develops over time.
One huge difference with Mastodon is that you first join a server or “instance” and then you create your profile. Servers are either based on a specific topic like news, technology, or genealogy, or they are general in nature. Whichever instance you chose can be changed later and anyone you join will allow you to connect with users hosted on other servers.
Mastodon is a decentralized network of many servers coming together to form the “fediverse” which is an open-source federated platform. The wonderful thing about Mastodon is that it’s a non-profit company based in Germany that is open to the world. This makes it stand apart from a private company owned by a billionaire.
If you are looking for another social media network to replace or co-exist with your Twitter account, I would definitely recommend you check out Mastodon.
Feel free to connect with me on