Elon Musk finally took over Twitter on Thursday night, months after he first announced his $44 billion (€43 billion) bid to buy the company. Users expect that loosening the app’s moderation policies would be one of the billionaire’s first moves.
Twitter was a reliablworried-about-using-twitter-try-mastodon oie platform since 2006. After Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover users of the platform seem split, and many switch to Mastodon as an alternative platform.
Mastodon hews close to Twitter’s overall style, with “toots” instead of tweets and “boosts” instead of retweets, along with mentions, hashtags, and a chronological feed. The key difference is that Mastodon has no ads, no creepy data mining, and no centralized ownership.
How To Use Mastodon?
Mastodon is free and open-source software for running self-hosted social networking services. It has microblogging features similar to the Twitter service, which are offered by a large number of independently run Mastodon nodes(known as “instances”), each with its own code of conduct, terms of service, privacy options, and moderation policies.
Use Mastodon following these easy steps given below-
STEP 1: GET THE APP (OR USE THE WEBSITE)
Just download the official Mastodon app for iOS or Android. You can also get started on the web by visiting joinmastodon.org and selecting “Find a server.”
STEP 2: PICK A SERVER
Unlike Twitter, Mastodon doesn’t have a single place where you can create an account. Instead, you must choose from various servers, each with their own communities and moderation rules:
While it’s possible to follow and communicate with folks across different servers, the one you join will dictate your full Mastodon handle, the content rules you’re subject to, and the address you’ll use to sign in on the web. It also has some impact on which posts you’re able to see. (More on that shortly.)
How to choose
- In the app: Hit “Sign Up” and select a server from the list. Make sure you’re okay with its moderation rules, then create an account.
- On the web: Browse the list of Mastodon servers, pick one to join, then create an account.
STEP 3: FIND FOLKS TO FOLLOW
After signing up through Mastodon’s mobile app, it will suggest a handful of people from that server to follow, but it’s a pretty limited list. Here are a few other ways to connect with folks on Mastodon:
- Use the search tab: In the mobile app, tapping the search icon takes you to a discovery section, where you can browse through trending posts, hashtags, a “For You” section of recommended follows, and “Community,” which shows a live feed of posts from your server.
- Use the Explore section: On the web, the #Explore section serves a similar purpose, with tabs for trending posts, hashtags, and “For you” follower suggestions.
- Drink from the firehose: Also on the web, you can use the Local and Federated sections to view a live feed of posts from your server and the entire decentralized network, respectively.
- Search for people: Using the search bar, you can look for specific names or handles. It’s better to do this on the web, where results can include people from servers other than your own.
- Browse some curated lists: As noted by FediTips, you can also follow people through human-curated directories. The best of these is Fedi.Directory, which organizes people by topic and includes bio information for each.
- Follow hashtags: Some servers allow you to follow entire hashtags in addition to individual people. Just click on any hashtag in your timeline or search results and hit the + button at the top-right corner. (You can only set this up on the web for now.)
STEP 4: SET UP YOUR PROFILE
Once you’ve joined a server and found some folks to follow, you can settle in by setting up your Mastodon profile:
- In the app: Tap on the elephant icon, then hit “Edit Info.” You can then add a profile picture, change your display name, and add info to your bio.
- On the web: Click “Edit profile” under your display name, and you can add a bio, profile picture, and header image.
STEP 5: START POSTING
If you want to help Mastodon shake its ghost town reputation, you’d better start contributing—ideally by posting about things other than Elon Musk and Twitter.
Compared to Twitter, Mastodon has a more generous 500-character limit, so you can stretch out a bit more. You can also use the icons underneath the post box to add images, create polls, limit who sees your posts, or add a content warning.
Important Facts to keep in mind while posting
Hashtags are more important on Mastodon because the search function only covers plain text for you and people you follow. If you want other people to find your posts, you’ll need to use hashtags.
Mastodon does not have a Direct Message function. The closest equivalent is to use the post visibility tool to limit a post only to people you’ve mentioned.
Mastodon does not have an equivalent to Twitter’s Quote Tweet tool. This was a design decision intended to make the platform less incendiary.
Although Mastodon offers Favorite function akin to Twitter’s Like button, you can also use Bookmarks to save a toot without other people knowing about it.