Recently on both my Twitter and Mastodon feeds, I’ve been seeing a lot of people talking about a Twitter to Mastodon migration. I’ve been on the Fediverse, and similar networks, for some time now, but I haven’t written too much about it.

I thought I’d take a moment to write a brief overview of Mastodon, in case anyone hears about it for the first time and wants to know more.

With Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, and the rule changes that have followed, Twitter has seen a lot of speculation about its future. There are a lot of people on both sides of the fence, but one thing is clear: For better or worse, Twitter is changing.

Many users that have left Twitter are switching to Mastodon. It is an open-sourced, de-centralized social media software that allows users to communicate with each other. It is now growing in popularity as many people use it as an alternative to Twitter. This article will give an overview of Mastodon and explain what it is and how it’s different from Twitter.

What is Mastodon?

Mastodon is an open-source social media platform that is similar to Twitter. It allows users to join a federated network called the Fediverse. The Fediverse is a network of independent servers that are connected to each other. This allows users to communicate with each other even if they are using different servers and different applications.

There are many applications that can be used to access the Fediverse, but Mastodon seems to be the popular choice during the Twitter exodus. It is most likely due to being used previously by many people as a Twitter alternative whenever people were unhappy with Twitter’s policies.

Mastodon was created by Eugen Rochko in 2016. At some point, the developers created a non-profit organization in Germany called Mastodon gGmbH.

The software is open-source and is licensed under the GNU AGPLv3 license. This means that anyone can use the software for free, modify it as they wish, and redistribute it to others. This is a massive difference to Twitter, where users are at the mercy of the company’s policies.

People are allowed to contribute to the code and fix bugs if they find any. They also can upgrade the platform by adding new features and translate the interface into different languages.

Any user can make their version of Mastodon or host their own Mastodon server. Each server has its own set of rules and regulations that will apply to that particular server only. The rules and regulations will only be followed by those who use that server.

Mastodon can be used through mobile phone apps and web browsers and is gaining more daily popularity.

How is Mastodon different from Twitter?

Mastodon and Twitter are both free social media platforms which share many similarities. Both platforms allow users to tweet (toot or post in Mastodon), follow other users, like posts and retweet (boost in Mastodon) posts made by other users. So for the core functionality, they are very similar.

Twitter is a single social network that requires people to sign up for and share content only on Twitter. If you are on Twitter and want to communicate with your friend, they must also be on Twitter. If they are not, you cannot interact with them.

Whereas on Mastodon, you can communicate with your friend even if they are on a different server. You can follow people on different servers, and even different applications. For example, you can follow someone on Pixelfed, which is like Instagram for the Fediverse, and they can follow your Mastodon account.

On Twitter, the company has the power to change the rules and regulations at any time. They can decide to change their spam policy, or alter their algorithm to show more or less of a certain type of content. On Mastodon, the server owners decide all of this. If you don’t like the rules on one server, you can switch to another server that has different rules, or you can host your own server.


Mastodon shows up first on the list if you search about Twitter alternatives, but Mastodon has plenty of differences and unique features to stand out as its own unique thing. So, use Mastodon not as an alternative for Twitter but as a new social app.

If it seems like Mastodon is not for you, there are plenty of other Fediverse apps that you can try. Thanks to the power of federation, you can use any of these apps and still communicate with your friends on Mastodon.