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How to join Mastodon

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While the controversy continues with the landing of Elon Musk as the new owner of Twitter and doubts arise about the continuity and future of this social network, there are users who have valued the possibility of entering alternative social networks.

Mastodon’s decentralized structure assumes a hybrid model between a social network and email

One of them, Mastodon, is having great success, with millions of new users signing up in recent weeks. Is about a social network characterized by being open sourceand especially because it is decentralized, which means that instead of there being a single server to which all its users connect, there are different servers in which separate and independent conversations are generated, although with the advantage that users can participate in all they.

In this sense, Mastodon’s decentralized structure would be more like mail or emailin which each user can receive their service from a different provider but this does not prevent them from being able to exchange emails with users of email accounts provided by other different platforms.

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Thanks to this decentralization, what some perceive as a risk is avoided: that, as has happened with Twitter, there may be someone who buys the platform and does and undoes it as they please. Something like this would be very difficult to achieve with Mastodon precisely because each server (called “instance”) presents that independent decentralization character.

However, the adoption of Mastodon implies a certain learning curve, beyond the registration process, which is not very different from registering a new email address. The difference in this case, with respect to other social networks is that the user himself must select the instance (the server) from which he will access. Continuing with the email example, it would be something similar to being able to choose which provider appears after the @ after the name.

This would be the first notable change compared to other social networks, the very structure that identifies the user and what is common on Twitter or Instagram, under the following formula:

@Username

In Mastodon the user is identified with the following structure:

@[email protected]

in parallel with email addresses:

[email protected]

Through its own website, Mastodon offers a partial list (although numerous) of these instances to which the user must connect to reside in their account, but with the existing proliferation also there are communities and interest groups that are organizing their own instancesmaking them known through web pages or social networks, so it would be enough to know the identification of said instance to be able to join it.

Nor should the fact that another instance that is more interesting for the user be discovered later on should be a concern, so that they can “jump” from one to another and become linked to another of their choice.

Mastodon has its own official server (Mastodon.social) but there are more than 4,000 servers that can be consulted from Instances.social, which provides information on language, theme, number of users in each of them, as well as other resources.rules that can be established autonomously by each instance, such as if you admit the publication of sexually explicit content or spoilers for movies and series. All these indications usually appear in the information section of each instance.

Exists within the platform an instance search engine that allows you to filter them by geographic location, language, theme… In any case, once the instance is chosen, either through the website or its app (available for iOS and Android), the user can register by simply requiring provide a username, password, and email address.

Once the user has registered in the instance of their choice, they can begin to configure their profile in a very similar way to any social network, but also to follow other users. Mastodon has an operating structure very similar to Twitter, which includes the ability to “retweet” content from other users to share with your own followers

Since a significant percentage of new Mastodon users come from Twitter, there are web tools that will be very useful for you.Locate Mastodon users who are followed on Twitter to automate the process of following them also on this new platform. These are services such as those provided by Debirdify or FediFinder, which will help you get started with Mastodon.

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