New Delhi: Since Elon Musk bought Twitter, there are reports that many people have started leaving the platform. After just a few days of joining, he made some big decisions that angered people about his plans to monetize core features or services.
Twitter started charging people $8 for Blue Tick, following, posting long videos and other features. It also reportedly plans to charge people to watch certain videos. Many users criticized his decision to charge for the verification badge and lay off thousands of Twitter employees. So many users reportedly decided to switch to other platforms.
Even though there are several 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 signed up and found two trending hashtags on the platform — #Twitterreufugees and #Introduction — that pretty much explained everything.
But and what are servers?
Mastodon is an open source microblogging site and is a bit different from Twitter. It works decentralized and unlike Twitter there are servers managed by users. There are different categories that include many servers aka communities. People can join any of them based on their interest.
For example, I chose 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 will also help you understand if there are enough people on a particular server to share your thoughts with. People can migrate to other servers by making changes in the settings section and all your data will be transferred as well.
How to log in to Mastodon?
After installing the app, just tap “Get Started”. You will then be prompted to select 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 have 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 it doesn’t seem to have any way to verify your age.
How to use Mastodon?
You can add anything by tapping the big edit button located at the bottom right of the app. All you have to do is write your message and then hit publish. Here, retweets and likes are called reblogged and favorites.
Once you log in to 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 purely on what people are sharing on the selected server.
On the home page, you’ll see the content of the people you follow. You can view your posts in your profile section, just like 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 set who can reply to your post.
The good thing is that the number of characters is not less here. It’s about 5,000 and Twitter supports a limit of 280 characters per tweet.
Mastodon: Missing features, ads, any issues?
You won’t find all of Twitter’s features here, but most of the features will. You cannot save your posts as drafts and there is no DM section. It seems that the Blue tick feature is not available to everyone.
I didn’t find any ads on the platform. Since many people are trying to use this site, I have noticed that the loading times have been a bit slow and notifications are not being 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 would not 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 is important to note that Mastodon is a free service and does not have the huge funding like Facebook and other platforms.