Mastodon: we tested the social network presented as an alternative to Twitter

The Mastodon social network is increasingly used. (©LG / Actu.fr)

It’s over, Elon Musk has finished getting the Twitter. The announcement was made at the end of April, but since then operations have been ongoing. “The bird is released,” the new boss finally tweeted on October 27, 2022 after buying the social network from the blue bird for $44 billion.

Since then, many dismissals have followed, including former boss Parag Agrawal and other leaders.

They left the bird for the elephant

Second almost immediate effect: a surge of Mastodon registrationsa social network created in 2016, praised by former Twitter followers who want to leave the world of the blue bird since Elon Musk took it over.

“For those wondering, Mastodon saw over 70,000 new signups on Wednesday alone. Let’s keep this momentum going! The “public area” of the web should not be owned by one person or company!”, also tweeted on the social network, in reference to the controversial acquisition of Twitter.

More freedom… but harder to access

And for good reason: Twitter users are worried about what might happen to Elon Musk’s social network. Possible changes to moderation may appear, the multi-billionaire presents himself as an ardent defender of freedom of expression. And then, the users of the blue bird social network were, for many, angry at repeated dismissals, or reject the idea of ​​a paid subscription for users who want to be certified. Idea that was finally suspended after much criticism.

Out of Twitter, users tested the social network presented as its alternative, with reservations about ease of use for some, expressed on… Twitter, exactly.

Videos: currently on Actu

“I tried Mastodon: it’s like Twitter, but managed by the URSSAF of Limousin”, we can read.

So for the skeptics, we have dissected how this social network works.

What is Mastodon?

Mastodon is a microblogging social network (this use of the internet that allows shorter publications than traditional blogs: short texts, images or videos, like Twitter). Created by the German Eugen Rochko, it has the particularity of being free, open-source and decentralized.

In practice, the application is similar to Twitter: users create a profile and then can post short messages, called ” toots“, (“toots” in English) is limited to 500 characters, and it is possible to attach media such as images, sounds, videos or surveys, as specified on the social network’s help page.

But the particularity of Mastodon is the decentralization: clearly, the user chooses a server when he registers, managed by a person or an organization. The Internet user will be able to communicate with this server, and his data will be stored here.

Mastodon
Screenshot of creating a Mastodon account. (©LG / Actu.fr)

Step 1: create your account and get started with the app

Technically, the Internet user chooses a server among 3,300 servers in the world when he registers according to his centers of interest (sport, art, gaming, etc.) or his geographical criteria. But do not panic: choosing a server will not prevent you from using the entire social network afterwards.

Once the server is selected, all you need to do is create an account by entering a user name and password. This identifier is in the form of an email address with the server name at the end (@[email protected] For example).

Screenshot of Mastodon server proposals.
Screenshot of Mastodon server proposals. (©LG / Actu.fr)

Features similar to Twitter

In Mastodon, multiple newsfeeds overlap. The two main ones are a local thread, with news about your server, and a global thread, which brings together all other messages posted on Mastodon. we can share messages posted by others (the icon is the same as retweets on Twitter) or favorites with a star icon (the equivalent of Twitter).

In addition to these two wires, one can walk on the wire ” explore » then go to the Hashtags tab, which brings together the topics that are being discussed at the moment, or the news tab.

Can also send private messages.

Once all this is understood, the next step is to build your network. And it can be quite laborious. We can follow other users on the network with the blue elephant icon, whether they belong to our example or not, by typing their username in the search bar. Be careful to fill in their full name! Otherwise, they are hard to find.

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