¿How is Mastodon different from Twitter?

¿How is Mastodon different from Twitter?

Franco Brutti

May 8, 2023

May 8, 2023

May 8, 2023

¿How is Mastodon different from Twitter?
¿How is Mastodon different from Twitter?
¿How is Mastodon different from Twitter?

Have you ever thought about using the potential of social networks to reach your target audience? If so, it's time for you to pay attention to Mastodon. 

Surely at some point you’ve used Twitter, but then decided to stay away due to the amount of censorship that exists on the network. 

Although Mastodon’s interface is very similar to Twitter, the truth is that it doesn’t have a single owner, but works through a series of decentralized servers running a free and open source code. 

In short, it’s a network composed of several networks

Would you like to see what it's all about?

What is Mastodon?

First let's start by defining what Mastodon is. It’s a microblogging social network that works in a very similar way to Twitter, but unlike Twitter, it doesn’t have a single owner, it has a set of decentralized servers running free and open-source code. 

In other words, it’s a social network with several networks or platforms inside, where the same users can create different servers that are called communities or instances. 

There you can write messages that will be read only by those who are part of Mastodon. 

The platform was created in 2016 and was developed by GNU Social, a project of Richard Stallman's GNU, which aims to create different decentralized social sites through the open standard Ostatus. 

This standard is very interesting as it gives you the possibility to communicate with other users even if they have different servers. 

How does Mastodon work?

It’s striking how many people think that Mastodon is a censorship-free option, unlike Twitter. However, it does have regulations, only that each community defines them as they wish. 

In this sense, it’s important to understand that the messages you write are called tots, very similar to the tweet. Each one can have a maximum of 500 characters, which is double that of its competitors, allowing you to express yourself with greater ease.

In addition, the platform has three timelines, one of which is the main timeline that shows all the messages from the people you follow. Subsequently, there is the local timeline, which reflects the messages of the members of the instance to which you registered.

Finally, you have the federated stories, which are public timelines where you can read the messages of people who belong to other communities. 

When you decide to write you have the possibility to mention any user you want through the @, just like on Twitter. Also, you can add a CW button that warns others about sensitive content, so you protect those who can get hurt. 

With Mastodon you have the possibility to choose exactly who you want to be shown.

Here you can select the federated option for all instances to see it, unfederated to show it exclusively on the timeline of the instance you signed up for, or private for only your followers to see. It's up to you.

How do I sign up on Mastodon?

Signing up on Mastodon is the best way to determine if it really is the alternative you were looking for. Fortunately, this is easier than it seems. The first thing you have to do is define in which communities you want to participate. 

To do this you can enter the official URL to see all the servers that belong to the network

In the same list, you have two boxes where you can choose the theme and language you want and from there it will show you the instances that are available according to those characteristics. 

Once you enter the main page of the instance you will have an interface that is very similar in all of them. On the right you have a central place with a description of the community and on the left an alternative where you can register. 

So, if you want to register you just have to fill in the form with your name, surname, email, and password, just like in any social network. 

Then you have to confirm your email address and in a short time, you will be ready to start enjoying the benefits of Mastodon.  

Differences between Mastodon and Twitter

There’s no doubt that Twitter and Mastodon have more differences than we thought at first. 

Once we logged in we realized that the interface, operation, and even the name of the messages are similar, so it’s like being in the network of the little dove with the difference that we are in a free code platform. 

However, Twitter has experienced complicated times recently.

The arrival of Elon Musk on Twitter caused many users to migrate from the platform to other sites that offer them greater freedoms without so many risks since the entrepreneur's policies are quite aggressive. 

This caused Mastodon to grow as never before. Let us now look at some of the differences between the two platforms: 

Data protection

There’s no doubt that one of the biggest risks of Twitter is the loss of data due to phishing and hacking attacks that occur nowadays. This means that the information you add in your initial profile can be used for criminal purposes. 

However, with Mastodon you won't have to worry, since the platform's data is stored on different servers that belong to different instances to reduce security risks as much as possible. 

Free edition

It’s true that Twitter offers you more and more alternatives, but in exchange it requires you to pay a monthly fee to enjoy these new benefits. 

Well, in Mastodon you will not have to pay anything extra, and the platform allows you to edit your own content without touching your wallet. It doesn't get any better than this. 

Muting users

Muting users is a way to have peace of mind, to stop seeing content from people you are not interested in for different reasons. Twitter also gives you this possibility, but in most cases it’s permanent unless you choose to undo the option yourself. 

With Mastodon you can also mute users, although in this case, not so radically. That is, from five minutes to a maximum of seven days. 

Content moderation

Twitter has a series of policies and regulations that are monitored by its legal team. That’s why from one moment to another many accounts are suspended or blocked, to optimize coexistence with other Twitterers. 

However, in Mastodon it’s the users themselves who enforce the rules, who prohibit improper acts and remove content that incites hatred. 

Decentralized, not centralized

One of the most important differences is that Mastodon is a completely decentralized network, where thousands of servers are linked together to create content. 

The best part, each user can have their own server, which gives them a power they didn't have before. 

Twitter, on the other hand, is managed by the company itself, which is run by its owners. Therefore, users depend on the decisions they make at any given time. 

Moreover, we cannot forget that Mastodon is a non-profit organization. 

Forget about subscriptions and ads

One of the problems that has grown the most on Twitter is that ads abound like never before. Of course, the platform does this to generate more income and give users the opportunity to increase their revenue if they have an interesting community. 

However, Mastodon, being a non-profit community, doesn’t have any ads, so you can browse without interruption. 

Differences between Mastodon and Twitter

5 Advantages of Mastodon

Let's see now some of the advantages that Mastodon offers you for your day-to-day: 

1. Independent and decentralized

We could not start otherwise than with the fact that it’s independent and 100% decentralized. 

It’s essential to understand that by not depending on a central entity, the various nodes that compose it determine its operation. This makes it much more secure, democratic, and permissive, so you will be able to create content without any inconvenience.

2. Filtering feature

We love the fact that Mastodon gives you the possibility to filter your content so that only the people you want get to read it. The same goes the other way around, i.e. if you don't want to see something just set your profile to display only what you want to read. 

Does Twitter have this function? Yes, but it isn’t as precise. In fact, it currently only offers you the option to see Tweets "for you", or "following", although in the end, both groups complement each other. 

Use Mastodon now and forget about content that doesn't interest you. 

3. Respect for data protection

We cannot ignore the fact that data protection is one of the most debated topics on the Internet. The developers of Mastodon know this and that’s why they decided to shield their security protocols to make it almost inviolable. 

We’ve all seen those massive hacks that have occurred both in banks and social platforms. This has made us more cautious when it comes to providing personal data, but with Mastodon, you won't have any problems. 

The fact that it has thousands of nodes and servers makes it the best place to leave your personal information. 

4. It has no algorithm

How many times have you heard the term algorithm on the Internet? Well, that's how most social networks work, through a kind of robot that determines your tastes to offer you the texts that interest you the most. 

The problem is that in many cases they are not entirely accurate, so much so that it shows us accounts that really have nothing to do with our tastes. 

Mastodon moves away from all this and offers you only what you want to see, that is, the content that the communities you are affiliated with give you. 

5. Zero advertisements

Last but not least, we have the elimination of ads. 

On many occasions, we are surfing Twitter and suddenly an ad that has nothing to do with our tastes appears and plays for several seconds. Is there anything more annoying? 

Well, if you register in Mastodon you will forget about this problem forever, and because it’s open source and non-profit, you will never see any type of advertisement again. 

Get ready to browse without restrictions for the content you like the most. 

Advantages of Mastodon

Twitter or Mastodon?

At this point, it’s normal to ask ourselves this question. Mastodon is a social network that is in full growth and is only 7 years old, so it’s understandable that many users have doubts about it. 

The concept is very interesting, it combines the best of microblogging without being as commercial as Twitter. This could be its main advantage and disadvantage. 

It’s an advantage because you are much safer, without advertisements and with users who are interested in what you have for them. However, if you want to reach thousands of people, this will not be the ideal site. 

Twitter is still the king of this type of platform and will remain so for a long time. Its business model and brand are already 100% positioned, making it very difficult to compete in the short term.

So, if your goal is to position your brand, we recommend that you think carefully before making a final decision. 

Would you switch to this social network and leave Twitter aside? We want to know what you think.