Leaving Twitter for Mastodon? Here are the 7 Best Mastodon Instances You Can Join

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?

x mastodon instances to join

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?

itsfoss mastodon

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.

1. Fosstodon

fosstodon

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.

2. Mstdn.social

mstdn social

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.

3. Mas.to!

mas to

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

vivaldi mastodon

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.

5. Mastodon.art

mastodon art

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.

6. Techhub.social

techhub

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.

7. Mastodon.lol

mastodon lol

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)

  1. 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.

    You might want to check the privacy policy for the server you intend to join.

  2. 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.

  3. What happens when a Mastodon server is no longer available?

    mastodon account move

    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)

  4. 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.

Similar Posts

  • Hopefully this will be a sort of Queen’s Gambit moment for Mastodon. By that I mean, by way of admittedly imperfect analogy, that Elon Musk may do for alternatives like Mastodon what the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit did for online chess sites.

    I tried Diaspora a couple years ago but was not convinced. I am going to try to give this Mastodon a go and encourage all my friends — and my Facebook “friends” — to join me.

  • Didn’t gab use mastoton as a server but was somehow disconnected from the rest of the network? Is it possible to simply disconnect a server from the rest like that if someone just doesn’t like it?

    • Yes, Mastodon is censorship happy from leadership and top level fediverse/mastadon .social, on down. The creators and the software itself makes use of blacklists to prevent linking or communication between different instances. Gab had to fork Mastodon in the end. At the other end of the ideological spectrum is Pawoo, another fork by Pixiv.
      The covenant they make all instances pledge to is already pro-censorship so in reality it’s a federation of Twitter-like moderators on steroids.

      See the Mastodon help docs for “Blocking and silencing”
      and see the Mastodon instance list for the keyword given to every instance “Blacklisted” and you can also look at the docs on joinmastodon under moderation for the kinds of tools every instance is allowed in addition to the global blacklist to get an idea of just how censorship happy (and the resulting debates within and between different instances) they can get. Such tools allowed per instance wouldn’t be an issue if there were no global blacklist, no covenant, no silencing or blocking between different instances.

      If you want an all free speech twitter-like FOSS alternative, then Minds (minds .com) is THE one.

      Matrix (matrix .org) seems promising and seems like a better model than Mastodon’s, where conversations are given primacy and replicated and are allowed to continue across decentralized instances or “homeservers”