Mastodon Review: Is it a credible alternative to Twitter?

Mastodon

Ever since Twitter has been taken over by Elon Musk, several people have migrated to Mastodon. We have seen liberal left people jumping to Mastodon since they were not willing to tweet under Elon Musk’s leadership. In this review, we will examine the working of Mastodon in detail. Towards the end of the article, you will be in a position to know whether Mastodon serves as a competitor to Twitter.

About Mastodon

Mastodon is a decentralized social media platform being managed via Crowdfunding and sponsor donations. The About page includes their office address and relevant emails for communication. You need not have to perform any installation since the platform runs on the cloud. The dashboard looks as shown below.Mastodon

The first step is to create an account by selecting Create account button. The system will display several rules, which you should follow. You should scroll down and select Accept button to continue

Mastodon

Mastodon will prompt you to create a new account by providing a suitable username, email address, and password. If you create an account on Mastodon.social, you will be able to people on the network irrespective of their server.

Mastodon

The next step is to click on the email link for the purpose of activation. You will view a dashboard with your username on the left side. Mastodon will also prompt you to follow people and their feeds will appear on your dashboard. If you are not interested, you can scroll down and select Done button.

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Mastodon

If you are not following any people, then the Mastodon dashboard will be empty. You can straight away start posting content using the Textbox located on the left side.

Mastodon

Mastodon accepts content with 500 words limit. You can add images and polls in addition to the ability to set visibility levels.

Mastodon

You can also provide relevant hashtags along with the content as shown below. The system clearly displays the total number of people who used a relevant hashtag on a weekly basis.

Mastodon

If you click on a hashtag after publishing the post, Mastodon will display the posts using that hashtag. The published content will appear on the Mastodon dashboard. You can provide replies to content. If you repost content published by other users, then Mastodon will tag it as boosted.

Even if you are not following other profiles, you can search with hashtags and explore content. They are displayed based on popularity. Mastodon also includes direct messages and lists functionality.

The advantage of the free decentralized app is that the source code of the entire platform is available for access on GitHub. You can download Android and iOS apps as well. You can check out the sponsors list from the official website.

Different Servers

In addition to Mastodon.social, you can also create accounts based on the region and topic. For instance, if you are a technology contributor, you can create an account on servers like infosec.exchange or techhub.social. You will be able to view a complete list of the servers list via joinmastodon.org page. If you are not interested in creating an account on servers, you can stick to mastodon.social, which is the central hub of all activity.

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You will automatically receive followers if you continue to publish content. You can also link directly in addition to images. We would prefer to see the ability to record audio messages as well along with the content.

Conclusion

Mastodon is easy to use because of its simple user interface. The interface works fast and you can post content quickly. You can add hashtags, images, and links. Right now, the platform is evolving but the developers are continuously adding new features and functionalities. We observed that the reach level of Mastodon is low when compared with Twitter.

That said, the app became popular only in December after Elon Musk acquired Twitter. It will take time for any new platform to grow. Mastodon will be useful for developers because the complete source code is available on GitHub. The app is different when compared with Twitter because you can browse profiles directory. You can use the Dark mode app even if you have an active Twitter account.

We expect that the team will provide a facility to import Twitter content in the near future. We would also like to see a long textbox for posting content similar to Twitter. You can make use of Mastodon as an alternative platform in addition to Twitter. While some people have quit Twitter and started using Mastodon, we are not inclined to make any political option. The choice is yours. You should also consider Koo app, developed as part of the Make in India initiative.

This post is part of #BlogchatterA2Z challenge

Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and again as a Microsoft MVP in Surface under Windows and Devices in January 2024. He worked as a Chief Technical Editor with ASPAlliance and was part of ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at admin@netans.com

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