Mastodon will not replace Twitter
If you’re tired of Twitter, Mastodon has you covered. But is it a real alternative to Twitter? Here’s why this confusing social network is far from perfect.
Elon Musk’s Twitter landing catapults the social network, but not in the way the mogul envisioned. Or at least not for now. If there’s one clear winner with Elon Musk’s actions so far, it’s Mastodon.
As of October 27th, over 300,000 users have joined Mastodon, which currently provides over 1 million active users with over 70,000 new subscribers per day. That’s 700% more than before Elon Musk took over Twitter.
Growing subscriptions and downloads is a real challenge, leading to setbacks and many questions about Mastodon’s ability to establish itself as an alternative to Twitter. But is this really the expected alternative?
What is a mastodon?
That’s what Mastodon is: an open source, community-driven microblogging site. Mastodon was launched as a decentralized, user-friendly alternative to Twitter.
allows you to publish teeth and you can “boost” other users’ posts. It’s basically like Twitter, but instead of living in one place, the social network lives in different parts, called “samples”., each has its own rules and administrators. This constitutes a “federation” and maintains the integrity of the service: no central server exists. So if an instance stops paying for its server, it goes away, but other instances are still there. Can be funded by samples crowdfundingtherefore providing an ad-free experience and making sure no one owns it.
While samples can be public to anyone, Mastodon also has the option to let you keep it private. Users from different instances are authorized to monitor and communicate with each other. If you think of IRC, Reddit, Discord, or good old fashioned forums, we’re technically not that far off.
Basically, as long as admins pay to protect their instances, Mastodon can grow or shrink naturally without threatening the entire network. Since it’s open source, you can make your own if you want. There is one main example – mastodon. social, is a standard example for beginners. There are dozens and dozens of them, some specializing around a certain topic: a video game, a series, a social topic, etc.
Is it an alternative to Twitter?
Technically, Mastodon is an alternative to Twitter. A decentralized application built on open standards, Mastodon is a promising platform for those looking to escape Twitter. However, it is difficult to make it a serious and unique alternative to Twitter.
Still in its infancy, the platform has its own challenges. First, there are fewer high-profile influencers than other social media sites, so you won’t necessarily find the accounts you want to follow. If the person you want to follow is there, you’ll need to find out which copy they’re creating content on. It was as if several Twitter networks existed side by side, some private, others public, with different rules of operation. It’s a semi-organized chaos that is very confusing for new users. And that’s it from the profile creation interface.
When new users want to try Mastodon, they can choose to connect to a server based on their interests, language or region. You will find really different communities. That is, we are among ourselves, and in general, the users of these communities are very similar.
Mastodon is not a major social media platform, some even compare it to GNU/Linux when talking about PC OS and Windows alternative. New users are often unaware of its features and frustrated by its complex structureIt’s very different from the one-stop shop that Twitter offers.
You’ll see confused users wondering where their friends are going when they change patterns. Also, you’ll be disappointed by the features you’ll miss out on if you’re no longer accepting new users… another issue with Mastodon’s ability to evolve, which has very limited resources compared to Twitter. Rather than relying on investors, Mastodon survives on donations, crowdfunding, sponsorships and grants.
Anyway, nothing is stopping you from giving Mastodon a try. However, a warning is now being issued.
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