Twitter has been the most used social media platform for almost more than 2 decades, but nothing lasts forever. After Elon Musk acquired Twitter, we’ve seen many changes in the platform, but many long-time users are not appreciating those changes and are worried that the end is near or that platform is no longer a welcoming place for them.
Many social platforms, new and old, are kicking themselves as the next Twitter. Also, a lot of Twitter users are looking for alternatives and one of the options is Mastodon. Recently Mastodon has seen a large influx of users. The site is a little bit tricky for new users to understand how to sign up for mastodon.
If you are interested in joining the Mastodon, here is the perfect guide to get started quickly.
In this post, we’ll see
What is Mastodon?
Mastodon is decentralized, which means the platform is not limited to just one server like other social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, instead there are thousands of individual communities called ‘Servers’.
Mastodon works similarly to Twitter, but instead of publishing posts to a single website, people gathered in servers known as ‘instances’.
There aren’t any ads on the platform. It was initially released in 2016, but it isn’t run by a single company.
How to sign up for Mastodon?
To get started, click on the Create account, and you’ll be landed on the page of ‘servers’. Now before creating the account, you need to choose a relevant server. The server is just like a website or a home base, where you’ll see the majority of posts from that server. So select the server that matches your interests.
You can select the server by finding it in the list of suggestions or you can filter it by selecting the right topic and region and then clicking on Apply for an account. Some servers are closed for new users, and some of them require you to send an application and wait to accept, while many others can be joined instantly.
Now click or tap on the Create account button, on the side or top of the page. In the next step, fill in your display name, Username, Email, and Password and click on the Next button.
The mastodon server will send you an email with a verification link, open the email and click on the ‘Verify email address’ link to confirm your account.
If you joined a server that requires an application process, you’ve to fill in all your details and click on the GET ON WAITLIST button. In this case, you’ve to wait for the approval of your application. Once your application is approved, you’ll be able to join the server.
How to find and follow users on Mastodon?
The next step after creating an account is to set up your profile and find people on Mastodon. You can do a manual search to find people by searching their Username or user URL.
If you are coming from Twitter, there is a way to find those people on Mastodon that you follow on Twitter. To do that you have to use some tools like Fedifinder or Debirdify. Let’s go with Debirdify and click on Authorise with Twitter and link it with your Twitter account. It will search for your followers and the accounts that you have followed.
Next export the CSV file generated by the tool that has all your Twitter contact. Now go to your Mastodon account, go to your profile > preferences > import and export. Import, and select the file you’ve just exported. That’s it, you’ll now be able to see the people you’ve followed on Twitter and will be able to see the posts from them.
How to use Mastodon?
Once you’ve created your account and have successfully joined a server, you’re ready to publish posts, reply to posts, and much more.
This looks very similar to Twitter, icons, exploring hashtags, viewing the feed, following accounts, and publishing posts. While setting up your account you can set a Display Name, Bio, profile header image, and avatar.
You can publish posts, just like on Twitter, you can write posts up to 500 characters in length, also you can add images, videos, or audio files and polls to your post.
The Explore tab shows recent popular posts. Direct messages let to have a private conversation with someone. In Favorites, you can save your favorite posts.
One more thing that makes it different from Twitter is that you can follow a hashtag. For example, if you want to see posts related to Technology, you need to search #Technology and then follow the hashtag. Now it will fill your feed with posts related to Technology.
Mastodon has a lot more options and settings available on the web version. However, its UI and lots of other functions are not at the level of Twitter, but still, it’s a popular alternative to Twitter. After Elon Musk became the owner and CEO of Twitter, the platform became more controversial.
If you’re interested in setting up your account on Mastodon, this should be enough for you to get started.