Mastodon Social Media Platform – Alluring New Users

Mastodon social media platform is gaining a lot of attention these days. It’s popularly known as Twitter alternative. Mastodon was created in 2016 by Eugen Rochko. Post the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk, Mastodon started gaining more and more popularity, as users have started looking for some alternative.

Recently Medium, the most popular online publishing platform has also made it to Mastodon.

Shifting from Twitter or any other social media platform to Mastodon is not that easy, as Mastodon works quite differently. Let’s deep dive and understand what Mastodon has for its users.

What is Mastodon?

Yes, it’s a social media platform just like Twitter, Facebook, etc. But what makes it different from other social media platforms is its decentralized concept and it is open source which means anybody can contribute to the code.

Unlike Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media platforms which are owned and governed by one single entity, Mastodon is not controlled by one single entity or organization, which makes it decentralized in nature. Anyone can run parts of this social network, Mastodon gives that power to the people.

The name Mastodon comes from the mammal Mastodon. In appearance, they are close to Elephants.


What is a Mastodon server?

This is where the Mastodon gets quite complicated. Mastodon servers are also known as Instances. Before we create an account or sign up with Mastodon, it is really important to understand what these servers or instances are, and what they mean to you, As signing up with this platform needs this information very upfront.

Think of a Mastodon server like a Facebook group or a Sub-Reddit on the Reddit platform.

Anyone can create a new server, and the individuals running these servers can define the rules and guidelines of that specific server. So basically they are the moderators.

The servers are broadly categorized into Region and Topic. Under Region, you will find Europe, North America, South America, Asia, etc. And under Topic, you will find Technology, Gaming, Art, Sports, etc.

Mastodon Social Media Platform - Server Rules
Server Rules

How do you pick a server on Mastodon?

Now that we have understood what a server is, let’s see how to pick a Mastodon Server.

If you are interested in Sports, then just head on to Sports servers, if you are interested in Technology, then just head on to Technology servers, likewise, there are many servers classified based on interests, just pick the one that interests you. And as for Region selection, you can select the region closest to you or just let the default All regions.

Now, you might be thinking, if your friends have joined different servers, then how do I communicate with them, as you and your friends are on different servers right? The best part of Mastodon is that, though you join one specific server, but that doesn’t restrict or block you from communicating with the people on other servers.

So technically it really doesn’t matter which server you join, you can follow the people on other servers and people from other servers can follow you too. But do read the guidelines and rules of the server that you wish to join.

Maston servers are designed to communicate with each other, and basically, these sets of separate servers together build this Mastodon social media platform.

How do I sign up for Mastodon?

Go to joinmastodonorg, and click on “Create account“. Then you should be seeing the servers.

Mastodon Social Media Platform - Home Page

Some server sign-ups will be reviewed manually by the server owners while others can be signed up instantly.

Mastodon Social Media Platform - Server Sign up Form

If you notice carefully, your username will have server info. For e.g, I tried signing in for server with username “test”, so my complete username will be

Once you sign-up, an email confirmation will be sent to your registered email id.

Mastodon Social Media Platform - Email Confirmation

And once you click on the confirmation link sent to your email, it’s done. Now you will land in Mastodon. Messages or feeds will appear in chronological order.

Mastodon Social Media Platform - Login Page

Enjoy Ad-Free Experience

Yes, that’s right, Mastodon is ad-free, which means no more annoying ads. Mastodon has been since 2016 but still hasn’t implemented any monetization strategy. Mastodon has been relying on donations. The popular server is crowdfunded. There are many other servers that accept donations.


Is Mastodon like Twitter?

Mastodon is a social media platform just like Twitter, but its decentralized nature makes it different from Twitter. The tweets in Twitter are known as ‘Toots‘ in Mastodon. Retweet is known as ‘Boost‘ here. Functionality wise it’s much like Twitter, but the underlying architecture and way of working is different.

Who owns Mastodon social media platform?

As it’s a decentralized platform, there is no single company or individual owning it. It’s basically set of different servers which together build this platform.

Is Mastodon encrypted?

Unfortunately, nothing is encrypted on Mastodon, not even direct messages. The person or a group owning the server can see all the messages. So basically server admins will have all the access to the data. So it’s really important to join servers that are trustworthy and have been there for a long time.

What’s the best Mastodon server to join?

There are many popular ones right there, a general social server. If you are interested in technology then, for artists.

What happens when a Mastodon server shuts down?

If your Mastodon server shuts down then you would lose everything. However, the Mastodon Server Covenant, which defines the rules for all the servers states that server owners must give users at least 3 months of advance warning in case of shutting down.

Can I change servers on Mastodon?

Yes, at any point if you decide to change your server then there is a process in place to do that.

Can you create your own server on Mastodon?

Yes, you can create your own server, as it’s open source.

Can Mastodon replace Twitter?

For any social media platform, the most important thing is maintaining the users and providing features to the users that make them stay and stick to the platform. The platform must be scalable enough to meet user requirements. Mastodon as of now majorly depends on donations and crowdfunding, and if the costs to run the servers or infrastructure become unmanageable then there is a high possibility that a server may shut down.

It’s too early to say if Mastodon can replace Twitter.

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