Elon Musk bought Twitter. This message alone is apparently already enough to persuade thousands of Twitter users to switch. Even venerable Jedi Masters are losing their allegiance. Among other things, the Mastodon service is moving into the focus of people who are looking for a safe, free alternative that is as easy to use as possible.
Of course, there are some questions in the room. What is Mastodon? Do I have to do without well-known Twitter features? Does the service cost me anything? Questions that we answer in this FAQ.
Last but not least, what we’re most interested in is your opinion: are you considering or have you already made a switch to Mastodon or another service?
Mastodon is a social network that allows you to create your own communities, follow friends and share content. Sounds like Twitter? At first glance, many things are reminiscent of this, but Mastodon works differently in the background.
Mastodon was developed by the German developer Eugen Rochko. In principle, thanks to the open-source approach, anyone can operate their own Mastodon server, which becomes part of a public, decentralized network. But that doesn’t prevent you from finding your friends, because of the features of the service work across servers.
Using Mastodon may sound familiar if you’re already familiar with Twitter.
Of course, you can also attach images and other media to your messages and set privacy functions, such as who can see your toot.
Yes, there is an official Mastodon mobile app. However, since the technology is open source, there are numerous other apps that you can use Mastodon with.
No, the use of a Mastodon server is basically free of charge, and there is no advertising either. Whether you send the operators a thank you in the form of a donation is of course up to you.
This is where Mastodon benefits from being an open-source application. Any security gaps in the code can thus be quickly discovered and remedied by resourceful eyes – at least in theory. The service also offers a range of tools to protect you against bullying and other forms of abuse on Mastodon.
Instead of a large corporation, Mastodon is based on the voluntary work of ordinary people worldwide. This sounds tempting at first, but it also has a downside: if the person running your server decides to unplug it for private reasons, you will be kicked out of the network.
In addition, the operators can manually determine how far the interaction with other servers should go. It can therefore happen that you do not have the same functions as in other networks.
First of all: If you are now planning to switch from Twitter to Mastodon, you have to say goodbye to the hope of being able to transfer your content – i.e. tweets, pictures, and other media. You start from scratch, you must be aware of that.
If you still want to get started, we’ll guide you in a few steps to your new presence on Mastodon.
According to official figures, over 4.4 million people worldwide are currently using Mastodon (as of April 2022). That sounds like a lot at first, but it is only a fraction compared to Twitter with well over 200 million active users. So when you move to Mastodon, don’t expect to find your friends or celebrities or corporations you’ve followed on Twitter.