How to Switch to Mastodon, the Best Twitter Alternative

With Elon Musk taking over Twitter, its users are looking for an alternative. Many people are considering Mastodon, a decentralized and ad-free Twitter alternative. Here’s how to switch and migrate from Twitter to Mastodon.

Twitter Users worried about Elon Musk’s purchase of the platform, controversial tweets, employee treatment and the future viability of the service are looking for alternatives. They’re also looking for an alternative that isn’t closed off and centrally controlled by billionaires and big corporations like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. This desire has brought a new dawn to syndicated social media, which functions like email.

Syndicated social media is decentralized, ad-free, and allows users to follow and communicate with other users on different platforms. This is similar to whether a Twitter account can follow and read posts on Facebook, and vice versa. There are currently several federated platforms that communicate using a protocol called ActivityPub.

The most popular syndication platform is Mastodon, and many people looking to leave Twitter are considering switching to it. Here’s what Twitter users need to know when considering migrating to Mastodon.

How to register with Mastodon

Mastodon is united. This means anyone can run a social media server. Most people sign up on Mastodon’s official server, mastodon.social, but there are many more to choose from. Since the main instance is overwhelmed with new users, I recommend looking for a different server that matches your interests.

It doesn’t matter which server you choose, as your social profiles can follow and communicate with all profiles on all servers. This is the beauty of decentralized social media.

If you want complete control over your social presence and want to use your own domain, you can host your own Mastodon instance. Running your own server also brings you closer to a concept that Small Technology Foundation activist and co-founder Aral Balkan calls the Small Web. It’s a network that puts individuals, not a handful of large corporations, in control of their online experience.

Coywolf has an instance at coywolf.social, which uses (and recommends) Masto Host to host it, but there are several other hosting options. Running your own Mastodon server costs about $6/month. That’s $2 cheaper than paying Elon Musk for his blue check mark, which has now lost its original purpose and meaning.

How to find and follow people on Mastodon

The most challenging part of using Mastodon is getting started. Since people can socialize on any federated server – it’s decentralized – there’s no one place to search for people. However, once you get your act together, start following people, and practice the tips shared in this article, using Mastodon becomes much easier to use and more fun. Like Twitter, you might say, but without all the vitriol that comes with it.

complete your profile

The first thing you should do before doing anything else is complete your profile. At a minimum, you must include a familiar real or pseudonym, upload a profile picture, and add a descriptive bio. Otherwise, the number of people who will allow you to follow them and follow you will be greatly reduced.

I also recommend that you add a website (if you have one) and then verify the link. Once the site is verified, it will have a check mark next to it and change the background to green. This is Mastodon’s way of proving to other people who you are.

Introduction to Mastodon by Jon Henshaw
Jon Henshaw’s Mastodon profile (henshaw.social/@jon) and verified sites

Find people to follow on Mastodon

  1. Find Mastodon servers by interest and peruse people via the Explore page. Mastodon.social, indieweb.social, and writing.exchange are good places to start.
  2. Find people by subject interest on Fedi Directory, Fediverse Info, and Trunk. If you’re interested in SEO, Coywolf has created a syndicated SEO list.
  3. Request to be added to the aforementioned list so others can find and follow you based on their interests.
  4. Search for and click on a hashtag. Hashtags are one of the main ways to find posts and people with similar interests.
  5. Actively engage with others by following and promoting, liking and replying to posts. The more involved you are, the faster your network will grow.
  6. Post aggressively and use hashtags heavily to help people discover your content.
  7. Write an introductory article using hashtags #introduction.

Migrate Twitter Friends to Mastodon

Finding friends on Twitter can be tricky. There are a few services that can help. The two main web applications are Twitodon and Fedifinder. However, they should be used with caution as they require permission to access your Twitter account. Since these types of tools are suitable vectors for phishing, be more cautious about new tools that claim to do the same thing.

The safest and best way to find friends on Twitter who also use Mastodon is to make sure they know you’re using Mastodon via Twitter. If you keep your Twitter profile active, please mention and link to your Mastodon profile in your bio or pinned tweet.

Other Mastodon Tips

Here are some additional Mastodon tips that might help your experience on the social platform.

  1. If you want to control who can follow you, set the followers preference to request.
  2. To keep your feed focused on your interests, use the mute feature liberally.
  3. If someone annoys you, mute or block them.
  4. If someone is abusive, please report them. Reports are only sent to administrators and moderators of the instance you are using.

mastodon resources

Jon Henshaw

Jon is Coywolf founder and East India Company and lead author reporting for Coywolf News. He is an industry veteran with over 25 years of digital marketing and Internet technology experience. follow @[email protected]

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