what is the “free” alternative to twitter, the rising value of the social network?

Want to replace tweets with “toots” and retweets with “boosts”? Welcome to Mastodon, the rising alternative to Twitter.

While many are talking about leaving the blue bird social network the day after its acquisition, how is one presented as a potential alternative to its work?

Mastodon: a social network that really respects your privacy?

There are definitely pros and cons. Those applauding the takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk, who presents himself as a champion of freedom of expression online. And those who talk about leaving this social network following this change of ideological line and the will of the billionaire to pay certified users. Ultimately, the desire to join another network spreads, Mastodon.

But how does it work? We must first put things into perspective in terms of coverage: when Twitter has almost 240 million users worldwide and shows its ergonomics and its proper functioning, Mastodon painfully brings together a million. , and less user-friendly terms. of daily use.

An open source and non-profit database

In Francethe numbers circulating speak of 12.8 million Twitter users, against around 600,000 for Mastodon. Ideologically marked on the left, the latter was created only six years ago by the German Eugen Rochk. It makes a big difference: an open-source database and non-profit, allowing everyone to adapt the codes and improve them.

Servers are divided into “instances” thus bringing communities together. There are about 1,400 in French. Don’t worry about finding your way: when you register, you will be automatically directed to the most popular instance: mastodon.social. This will give you time to get used to the operation before choosing your favorite theme.

Messages are twice as long as Twitter and have no ads

“Decentralized and open source, Mastodon cannot be sold and cannot lose money. It respects your privacy and gives people control over the network. It’s a product on top of a protocol, like Twitter should be,” explains its creator. Does Mastodon really guarantee the confidentiality of your messages? Some reservations can be made, as defined however in the privacy policy of the social network: “ Due to the limitations of the protocol used, the confidentiality of ‘direct’ messages cannot be guaranteed: they can be accessed by administrators of other Mastodon instances, or even by the public in case of a problem in security. by Mastodon, mastodon.top or other instances. For the various reasons mentioned above, we advise you to be careful not to share information that is intended to remain strictly confidential. »

As another social network, of course, there is no question of using the same words: here, published tweets become “toots” and retweets “boost”. As for following profiles of your choosing, quoting other users, sending or receiving private messages or “liking” a post, the Modus operandi is quite similar.

From a design perspective, Mastodon is reminiscent of the Tweetdeck software platform, a professional tool for managing and programming various social network streams. Therefore, you will need some time to master the ergonomics. A big difference to note between Mastodon and Twitter: the length of authorized messages. Where the blue bird is still fixed in its 240 characters, the mastodon offers you to post messages of 500 characters. Another point to highlight: the absence of advertising on Mastodon, a social network without an algorithm, resulting in the display of posts in chronological order. Mastodon is actually a non-profit organization, funded by donations.

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