Mastodon signups have increased after Elon Musk took over Twitter.
Mastodon, a 2016 startup, is expanding fast. As Twitter faces layoffs, controversial product changes, an expected shift in content control, and a rise in abusive language, some are leaving for it or at least looking for a second location to post.
Twitter, a fast-moving, text-heavy, news-oriented medium, may have no apparent successor. Mastodon satisfies. A chronological timeline of brief updates like Twitter. It enables users join a variety of servers maintained by different groups and people, unlike Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
Mastodon is free and ad-free. Mastodon founder Eugen Rochko runs a crowdfunding-supported NGO.
In an interview Thursday, Rochko claimed Mastodon acquired 230,000 subscribers since Musk took over Twitter on October 27. He claimed 655,000 monthly users. Twitter claimed 238 million monetizable daily active users in July.
Rochko, who established Mastodon as a project rather than a consumer product, said, “It is not as massive as Twitter, certainly, but it is the biggest that this network has ever been” (and, yes, its name was inspired by the heavy metal band Mastodon).
Kathy Griffin, a Twitter celebrity, joined Mastodon in early November, while journalist Molly Jong-Fast joined in late October.
After Musk took over Twitter, UCLA assistant professor Sarah T. Roberts began using Mastodon. She claimed she made another account years ago but didn’t get into it until lately due to Twitter’s popularity among academics.
Roberts, who worked at Twitter as a staff researcher earlier this year while on leave from UCLA, said she started using Mastodon because to worries about Musk’s content management. She thinks some newcomers are bored of social media businesses that collect user data and are motivated by advertising.
She noted that Twitter users may switch to Mastodon because its user experience is comparable. Mastodon’s functionality and structure, particularly in its iOS app, will be recognizable to Twitter users. You may follow people, write short messages (500 characters, photos, and videos), like or repost other users’ posts, and so on.
“It’s close,” she remarked.
I’ve been a Twitter member since 2007, but as more people I follow started sharing their Mastodon usernames, I grew fascinated. I tried Mastodon this week.
The network setup differs. Mastodon users’ accounts are hosted on numerous servers, therefore the costs are shared by many persons and organisations. Rochko compared this scenario to having Gmail and Hotmail, where users are scattered out and hard to discover.
This means the network isn’t controlled by any one person or organization, but it also complicates things for Twitter users, a program that has been criticized for being less intuitive than Facebook and Instagram.
Mastodon requires you to join a server, some of which are available to anybody and some of which require an invitation (you can also run your own server). Mastodon.social, the nonprofit’s server, is full, so I’m utilizing Mstdn.social, where I can also join in to Mastodon on the web.
While you may follow any Mastodon user, regardless of which server they’re on, you can only access the lists of who follows your Mastodon friends or who they follow if they’re on the same server (I realized this while trying to track down more people I know who recently signed up).
I felt like a complete social media newbie at first. As Roberts noted, the iOS app is straightforward to use and looks like Twitter.
Mastodon has less than 100 followers, unlike Twitter, where I can easily communicate with a vast audience. I had no clue what to publish, a sensation that seldom bothers me on Twitter, maybe because its enormity makes each message seem less important. Mastodon’s smaller size is soothing compared to Twitter’s constant stimulus.
Social media exit
Mastodon is my social media escape hatch if Twitter becomes unpleasant.
Roberts hasn’t decided if she’ll quit Twitter, but she was shocked by how rapidly her Mastodon following expanded. After a week, she has over 1,000 Mastodon followers.
“People may not want to be caught on Twitter soon,” she warned.
Restarting may be enjoyable.
“I wondered, ‘What’s it going to be like to start over?’” she questioned. “That individual is here! So-and-so! I’m pleased they’re here so we can be together.”
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