Not thrilled with Twitter lately? Mastodon is a good alternative social network that’s not controlled by one monolithic ad company.
It works a lot like Twitter, but with some key differences:
- Posts are 500 characters
- Mix public and private posts from the same account
- Spoiler warnings!
- Chronological timelines! You see posts in the order they arrive, not the order that some algorithm thinks will make you angry enough to “engage” more.
- No ads!
- Less data mining!
- Human moderators!
- Each server is its own community within the larger “Fediverse,” and they can all interact with each other.
Wait, what’s that last one again? Mastodon is not a centralized service, but software run by many different people and organizations. You can join a server (or “instance”) that suits you (or start your own!), and you can still interact with people on other instances because the servers talk to each other to make a larger combined service (“federation”). Think of it like choosing an email provider: You can still send to people on other providers, get replies, etc. Mastodon uses a standard called ActivityPub for this, which means it can interact with other software that uses that standard as well.
Oh yeah, there’s also this short video: