Ever since Elon Musk bought Twitter, the entire app has been operating like a firey crash leading most of the users to abandon ship, while others have decided to stick it out. In order to capitalize on everyone who has been fleeing Twitter for other apps, the open-source app Mastodon has been new users with open arms, though the response has been a little confusing.
While some have been praising the alternative option, it’s not a carbon copy of Twitter and will likely take some time to understand. This might not be the quick and easy solution that former tweeters will want, but it might gain some traction in the long run.
Mastodon has just passed over 2 million active monthly users, a new record! People are voting with their feet. The future of social media doesn't have to belong to a billionaire, it can be in the hands of its users.
— Mastodon (@joinmastodon) November 20, 2022
Mastodon is decentralized describing itself as a “federated network which operates in a similar way to email.” There are different servers for different communities, but no matter which server you sign up with, you will be able to communicate with others on the app no matter what server you or they are a part of. You can also change your server later on, so you are not bound to your initial choice in case you accidentally join a server intended for people who like math (it exists).
The service has some classic Twitter-like features, though instead of “tweets” they are just “posts.” Users can also post replies, retweets (known as “boosts”) favorite items, add bookmarks and use hashtags. It’s more or less how Twitter was being used back in 2007 when it was just starting out, which means there is a ton of room for growth and potential downfall later on!
The app has seen a record number of signups, though not everyone is thrilled. If there is one thing we can gather about social media users, it’s that we all really hate change, so getting millions of users to migrate from one tried and true platform on the brink of death to another smaller but more confusing app might not work out so well. Still, you can use DeBirdify to help find all of your many Twitter friends on other social media accounts.
— Sinéad Crowley (@SineadCrowley) November 4, 2022
To summarize: Mastodon isn’t perfect, but it exists. As of right now, so does Twitter. There is no telling if the app will gain enough traction in order to replace Twitter, but now is the time to check it out before it becomes overrun by the MAGA overflow.