Leaving Twitter after Elon Musk’s takeover? Well, you are not alone. Many users have decided to leave Twitter for a different platform.
Whether you entirely leave the platform or not is up to you. However, if you are looking for an alternative, Mastodon is the one you should pick.
What Is Mastodon?
Mastodon is a decentralized open-source social media platform. The highlights include the following:
- It is an independent platform, not under the control of a single individual or a company.
- No algorithm that collects/analyzes the pattern of your usage.
- You get total control of the platform, which can be used to build a customized experience for your community.
- No ads.
It primarily aims to be an open-source replacement to Twitter (considering posts were called “toots” similar to “tweets“) and the post layout can look a bit similar. Gradually it is evolving as an open-source social media platform all around.
You can deploy Mastodon on your server (taking control of your data) or sign up on any available Mastodon instances (hosted by someone else). Every server is run by individuals and passionate users who dislike using platforms run by tech giants.
We already had an article explaining what Mastodon is by a server admin if you wanted more in-depth details.
What Are Mastodon Servers or Instances?
Mastodon is an open-source social media software.
Anyone can host it on their servers. Sometimes it is a group of individuals, an individual, or an entity. They are responsible to maintain and moderate it.
Just think of it as “communities” instead of “servers” or an instance. There are many Mastodon communities run by a variety of people. You can join any available communities and interact with users across the Mastodon network.
You can always find servers using Mastodon’s official server portal.
If you are a user and want to use the platform to post stuff, follow other users, and engage with the community, you do not need to worry about how it all works.
However, it is essential to choose the right community, as every server has different rules, guidelines, and preferences.
To help you save time, I recommend some of the best (or most popular) Mastodon servers you can join for a good experience in no particular order of ranking.
Unlike other social media platforms, Mastodon servers are mostly community-powered. So, we encourage you to donate/help the server administrators to continue enjoying the platform.
Fosstodon is the best Mastodon instance for Linux users and open-source enthusiasts. It is not one of the most popular options, but it is good.
You can discuss anything you like as long as you follow its code of conduct; the focus is on free and open-source software. If you need like-minded users to discuss the same, Fosstodon is an excellent option.
I have been a user of this server for a couple of years, and you will find engaging/valuable posts.
Mstdn.social is one of the most exciting Mastodon server instances. The administrator of this instance (stux) is super active and welcoming.
You can discuss anything here using the language of your choice, whether it is about technology, general stuff, or cute cat pictures. The admin regularly shares pictures of his cats; you might want to give him a follow just for that.
Mas.to is yet another interactive server where you can have fun posting various content.
It features a good number of active users. So, you can always expect things to be engaging and active. You should not have any issues as long as you abide by the server rules.
At the time of writing this, Mas.to temporarily stopped accepting new user registrations to increase the server capacity. You might want to keep an eye on this.
4. Vivaldi Social
If you are not confident about relying on Mastodon servers run by individuals, you might want to opt to use Vivaldi Social.
Built by the makers of Vivaldi Browser.
It is good to see companies like Vivaldi promoting the adoption of open-source and decentralized tech through this instance.
Sure, you will find Vivaldi’s branding replacing the Mastodon logo and posts by the Vivaldi team promoting their services occasionally, and that’s it. You will not find any advertisements. Also, it allows you to discuss anything in general, not restricted to a single language.
Mastodon.art is a server that caters to all kinds of art (illustration, paintings, etc.). The server does not allow NFTs / Crypto Art.
This server should be an excellent place to start if you want a feed full of creative stuff. At the time of writing this, Mastodon.art does not accept new sign-ups until the waitlist is cleared. You can check back in sometime to try creating an account with them.
Techhub.social aims to cater to users passionate about all technologies.
Anyone can join the server if you follow the server rules. You do not have to be a tech geek to join the server, but the primary focus remains technology.
Mastodon.lol is for you if you want a server that aims to welcome members of LBGTQ+, hackers, and a similar group of users.
Just like a few other servers, Mastodon.lol is overwhelmed by new user registrations. However, the administration plans to re-open the registrations once new moderators have been added to the server.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions.
Are Mastodon servers privacy-friendly?
Yes, Mastodon is designed in a way where no advanced algorithm collects any form of data to serve you advertisements.
For the rest of the stuff, the server administrator has access to the data that you provide to them when signing up and other general statistics (number of posts, likes, IP address, email, etc). So, you may use VPN services or Tor and various other privacy tools to keep your identity anonymous.
Does Mastodon allow NSFW content?
Some servers do, and some servers do not. You must read the rules and regulations of the server.
A feature to mark content as sensitive gives users a warning before they try to see your post.
What happens when a Mastodon server is no longer available?
Considering Mastodon servers are run by individuals, some may have hiccups.
If you want to prepare for the d-day, you can always use the account options to move to a different account (or from a different one).
You can find it under Account → Account settings → Move to a different account (or from)
Can I talk to my friends from another Mastodon server/instance?
No matter what server/instance you choose to join, you can talk to any user from any server/instance.
The entire Mastodon network consists of all the servers out there. You do not need to join another server to be able to interact with another user.
Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comment section.