Twitter users, unhappy with the way Elon Musk has been managing the social media platform that he acquired in late October, are lining up to try out alternative networks. One of those, Mastodon, is growing fast.
Musk’s new Twitter policies are making users increasingly concerned. They claim they are worried about loose content moderation and the revamped and controversial Twitter Blue service.
The blue tick next to a profile name will now cost $7.99 per month. Previously, it served as an important tool for users to identify authentic, notable and active profiles.
No surprise then that hundreds of thousands of users are switching to Mastodon, a different, though not really a new platform.
Mastodon was created six years ago but is surging now amid worries about the future of Twitter. Mastodon says it now has over 655 thousand users, with over 230 thousand new accounts created last week alone.
“Why choose Mastodon? Because it's decentralized and open-source, it can't be sold and won't go bankrupt. It respects your privacy and gives control over the network to the people. It's a product on top of a protocol, the way Twitter should have been,” the network tweeted right after Musk finalized the purchase of the company.
Of course, even if the growth of Mastodon seems spectacular now, there’s a lot of catching up to do – one cannot compare more than half a million daily active users (DAU) with 237 million DAU who are on Twitter.
Besides, many users say Mastodon is a bit too difficult and technical to enjoy. Yet it seems the hope is that quality will beat quantity.
On the surface, Mastodon looks like Twitter: users write posts that are called “toots,” reply to, report, or like each other’s messages, and follow others. But Mastodon also boasts of features Twitter doesn’t have.
For example, users can edit posts, use customized emoticons, and enable an option to auto-delete posts. There’s also a 500-character limit.
“For those wondering, most of #IrishTwitter seems to have moved to [Mastodon],” one Twitter user from Dublin posted on Friday.
“It’s the same vibe as having moved to a smaller, cozier pub with better music and a turf fire and nobody’s thrown up in the corner yet.”
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