Alternative Mastodon on Twitter: What do you know

While Twitter users speak of the platform’s imminent potential demise amid mass layoffs, resignations, and reports that the app for employees has begun to slow down, some users have turned to Mastodon as a potential alternative.

Founded in 2016 by German software developer Eugen Rochko, the sole full-time employee of the project, the decentralized social network is a non-profit organization.

While it shares some similarities with Twitter, there are significant differences as well.

There are no advertisements, as Mastodon is funded by donations and grants.

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Its feed is in chronological order, unlike the algorithm-based ones on Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.

It consists of a network of servers. While they each operate independently, people on their own server – or Mastodon ‘instance’ – can connect to people on different servers, as long as those servers are not blocked.

This photo taken on November 7, 2022 shows the logos of social networks Twitter and Mastodon reflected on smartphone screens.
((Photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images))

Some servers allow anyone to join, while others require an invitation or approval, according to TechCrunch.

The outlet also notes that, as part of “Fediverse,” Mastodon gives users access to other decentralized social networks and — because it’s open source — anyone can download, modify, and install Mastodon on their own server.

Users can write posts of up to 500 characters, as well as share photos and videos.

They can also view a public feed and follow accounts. Mastodon also uses hashtags.

Spain - In this illustrated illustration, the Mastodon homepage is shown on a mobile phone screen.  More than 200,000 new users have reportedly flocked to the social media app following Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter.

Spain – In this illustrated illustration, the Mastodon homepage is shown on a mobile phone screen. More than 200,000 new users have reportedly flocked to the social media app following Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter.
((Photo illustration by Davide Bonaldo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images))

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Mastodon has officially retired the word “toot,” which was used to describe posts. Now, the “Toot” button has been replaced by the “Publish” button.

There are more than 1 million users, about half of whom said Roshko signed up after Twitter chief Elon Musk took over in October.

By comparison, Twitter reported 238 million daily active users who saw an ad as of the second quarter of this year, and Facebook said it had 1.98 billion daily active users as of the third quarter.

Person holding a mobile phone showing Mastodon and Twitter symbol.

Person holding a mobile phone showing Mastodon and Twitter symbol.
(Reuters/Lizzie Nessner)

Notably, it is more difficult to find people to follow on Mastadon than on centrally managed Twitter or Facebook, and the rapid growth has created some glitches.

One primary difference is verification, as there is no formal process for profiles.

Document-based verification and blue ticks are not possible without a central authority. However, Mastodon can refer to the links you place on your profile to prove that you are the true owner of those links. In the event that one of those links is your known and trusted personal homepage, it can They serve as the “next best thing to identity verification,” advises Mastodon.

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Alternatively, people can add a checkmark emoji next to their name, according to Mashable.

Either way is less expensive than the $8 monthly fee.

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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