What is Mastodon?
Mastodon, in simple terms, is a free & open-source social media platform. This means that anyone can host a Mastodon server, or "instance". Mastodon is a part of the Fediverse, a network of independently hosted servers that all communicate with each other. This means that even if your account is on one server, you can see content from other Fedi servers. Mastodon is simply a type of Fedi server.
There's a lot of reasons, but here are some of the things I enjoy about it:
- No algorithm. Mastodon's timeline of posts is in chronological order, which means you will see things as they are posted, rather than Twitter's "Home" timeline that just shows a random assortment of posts served by an algorithm. No more fighting the system for the slightest chance to have your post seen at all!
- A great tagging + content warning system, as well as filters that actually work. Mastodon very much encourages the use of tags and content warnings, with a dedicated CW field. You can also create custom filters and add as many words as you like to each filter, choose whether to hide filtered posts with a warning or hide them completely, and you can choose where the filter applies to (you can apply it to your timeline, people's profiles, conversations, etc).
- An actual sense of community! It kinda depends on the instance you choose to join, but I've noticed a lot of servers foster thriving communities; it reminds me of old forum sites, which are something I miss dearly. (That's for another page, though!) Mastodon is generally more reminiscent of "old" Twitter; before it got corrupted with algorithm slop.
This isn't a complete list, and I'm mostly listing stuff off the top of my head, but I've found that I generally enjoy Mastodon much more than any other social media platform. It isn't for everybody, but if you're looking for a good alternative to Twitter, this is a good one!
Where do I sign up? What instance do I choose?
There isn't really a single place to sign up for Mastodon. You'll need to pick an instance to host your account with. I can share a few that I know of, as well as some additional links that are useful for finding servers, but please make sure to read the about/rules of every instance before signing up.
Instances I know
- Sparklefur & adjacent topics - this is my instance for anyone interested in sparkledog/sparklefur art, rainbow marysue OCs, PLUR, and anything adjacent. Anyone is welcome to join, but an admin has to approve your account before you can start posting.
- chitter.xyz - General, Furry(or at least, furry-adjacent) - open, account must be approved by admin first
- meow.social - Furry - currently invite-only
- yiff.life [18+] - Furry - currently invite-only
- denden.world [18+] - Furry, Pokemon, Therian - open
- bark.lgbt [16+] - Furry, LGBT - open
You can search for instances using the links below.