Twitter started charging people $8 for Blue Tick, following, posting long videos and other features. There are also reportedly plans to charge people for watching certain videos. Many users criticized his decision to charge for the verification badge and lay off thousands of Twitter employees. So many users have reportedly decided to switch to other platforms.
Despite having multiple platforms like Reddit, people are reportedly flocking to Mastodon. The platform’s team told the BBC that more than 2,30,000 new users joined Mastodon last week. While there’s no telling if they’re all Twitter users, I logged on and found two trending hashtags on the platform — #Twitterrefugees and #Introduction — that pretty much explained it all.
But and what are servers?
mastodon is an open source microblogging site and is a little different from Twitter. It is decentralized and unlike Twitter, there are servers managed by users. There are different categories that span many servers, also known as communities. People can join any of them based on their interests.
For example, I selected the C.IM Server in the General category. This is a general, mostly English speaking Mastodon community. Here you can talk about anything in general. There are servers in different languages. Each server has a description that explains what to expect from that community.
The app even shows how many people have joined the server to share their thoughts or use the platform. This also helps you understand if there are enough people on a given server to share your thoughts with. Users can migrate to other servers by making changes in Settings section and all your data will be transferred as well.
How do I register with Mastodon?
After installing the app, just tap “Getting started“. You will then be asked to choose a server, accept the platform rules and create your ID and password. You will be asked to enter your email id and then you will need to open your email service and verify your account. Now everything is ready.
The platform requires you to be at least 18 years old to join Mastodon, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to verify your age.
How to use Mastodon
You can add anything by tapping the big edit button at the bottom right of the app. All you have to do is write your message and then click “Publish”. Retweets and Likes are referred to here as Reblogged and Favorites.
Once you log into a server, the app will display content shared by people on that server. Of course, users can search for anyone on the platform, but the content they see in categories like News, Hashtags, Community, and For You is based solely on what people are sharing on the chosen server.
On the home page, you can see the content of the people you follow. You can view your posts in your profile section, just like on Twitter. People can create polls, post photos or videos, and post animated emoticons, among other things. There is also a privacy option that allows you to control who can reply to your post.
The good thing is that the number of characters is not less here. It’s around 5,000 and Twitter supports a limit of 280 characters per tweet.
Mastodon: Missing Features, Ads, Any Problems?
You won’t find all of Twitter’s features here, but you will find most of them. You cannot save your posts as a draft and there is no DM section. It seems that the blue tick feature is not available for everyone.
I did not find any advertisements on the platform. As many people try to use this site, I noticed that the loading times were a bit slow and notifications were not sent in a timely manner. This can be fixed with an update.
As of now, there is a limited number of people and organizations on this platform. So people wouldn’t have to use this service for a long time. Whether Mastodon manages to attract more people in the coming weeks or months remains to be seen.
It’s important to note that Mastodon is a free service and doesn’t have the huge funding like Facebook and other platforms.