Why tweet when you can toot on Mastodon

One of its unique selling points is that there don’t seem to be any celebrities using it

Mastodon: it looks and behaves a bit like Twitter

Mastodon: it looks and behaves a bit like Twitter


Have you ever wondered why small app developers have never tried to compete with the iron Fist (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter) of social media? They do but it’s difficult to get noticed, users prefer to stay where their friends are, and you need to have a unique selling point. But it’s not implausible. After all, Bebo and MySpace seemed invincible before Zuckerberg came on the scene.

One alternative to Fist is Mastodon, which looks and behaves a bit like Twitter (you don’t tweet, you “toot”). The twist is that it is more like the internet chat rooms of old: you sign up and can visit different “instances” based on your location or interests, and users can create their own instances with their own rules of engagement, for example banning sweary folks.

Like most, I joined the liveliest instance, mastodon.social, which has more than 120,000 users. It’s a little sedate compared to Twitter but it’s got one thing going for it: there don’t appear to be any celebrities or politicians lurking about.