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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

Mastodon explained: What it is and how it’s different from Twitter

Mastodon is the latest popular social networking site which is pulling away many Twitter users in India. Here’s all you need to know about Mastodon and how it works.

tech Updated: Nov 08, 2019 14:17 IST
Marcia Sekhose
Marcia Sekhose
Hindustan Times
Mastodon social networking site.
Mastodon social networking site.(Mastodon)
         

A not so new social network is currently trending on Twitter in India. Users are tweeting about moving to different social network called ‘Mastodon’ with features and interface similar to Twitter’s.

The whole buzz on Mastodon emerged from people complaining about Twitter banning Supreme Court lawyer Sanjay Hegde’s account. Hegde who announced he’s moving to Mastodon soon led an army of Twitter users joining the social network. People are also arguing that Mastodon is a better alternative to Twitter and the former has stricter moderating rules. If you’ve been wondering what Mastodon is all about and how to get on the ‘trending’ social network.

What is Mastodon?

Mastodon is an open social network for users globally. It was created by Eugene Rochko in 2016 and it currently has over 2.2 million registered users. Its features and user interface are similar to that of Twitter’s. On Mastodon users can share ‘toots’ with photos and videos, follow other users, DM people, make favourites and create lists. The UI of Mastodon is also like Twitter’s where you have the feed on the home page.

 

What makes Mastodon different?

Mastodon is different from other social networks as it runs open source and isn’t owned by any single corporation or company. People can also create their own versions of Mastodon which is known as ‘instance’. Each Mastodon instance runs on a different server but have the social network at its core.

Users can follow people with the same Mastodon instance and from other servers as well. Mastodon instances are owned and modified by the community and most of them are crowdfunded. Mastodon also says it has “effective anti-abuse tools to help moderate instances as users see fit”. Also, Mastodon says it cannot go bankrupt, cannot be sold or sold to the government.

How to join Mastodon?

Interested users can sign up on Mastodon through this link. You can use Mastodon on desktop, Android and iOS. There isn’t any native Mastodon app for Android or iOS, instead there are client apps. Users can download Mastodon apps like Amaroq, Tootle, and Stella. Login with your Mastodon credentials and start tooting on the platform. Each app offers a similar UI but some of them have exclusive features as well.