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Mastodon is one of the best Twitter alternatives for privacy advocates in 2022
Photo 259739248 © Vlad Salikhov | Dreamstime.com
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Mastodon is a hot new Twitter alternative – Here’s how it works

It’s an understatement to say things over at Twitter are dramatic right now. Within a few days, about a million users have bailed.

Don’t worry! Kim’s not going anywhere. Twitter’s just too much fun to leave. Plus, we don’t want to miss out on Elon Musk’s next moves.

What if you decide you want to leave Twitter? We’ll show you how, along with a new social media network that claims to be Twitter without the Big Tech leadership.

Why so many users are leaving the nest

Twitter is one of the world’s most popular social media sites. Statista research found it has nearly 238 million active daily users. Obviously, a loyal user base generates a lot of advertising money.

But the scales seem to be turning since Musk’s $44 billion purchase was finalized in October. Get this: Over 877,000 accounts were deactivated between Oct. 27 and Nov. 1, according to MIT Technology Review. On top of that, Twitter suspended 497,000 more accounts during that same time frame.

Maybe that’s why some advertisers are flying the coop. Fewer active users mean fewer opportunities to make money. So far, Volkswagen, Pfizer and General Mills are some of the biggest companies to pull out of Twitter, Fortune reports.

Musk plans to make money off of Twitter by charging verified users $8 per month to keep their blue checkmark. If you’re sticking around, watch out for scams based on this proposal. Tap or click here for a few ways to spot this new verification trick.

How to cut ties with Twitter

If you’re just not into Twitter anymore, it’s easy to deactivate your account. Here’s what to do:

  1. First, go to Twitter and select the navigation menu icon.
  2. Then, tap Settings > Privacy > Your account > Deactivate.
  3. Then, select Deactivate again.
  4. After that, Twitter will prompt you to enter your password to confirm you’re the account owner.
  5. Select Deactivate > Yes, deactivate. Just like that, you’re done.

Need another app to fill the void? Here’s one that’s getting a ton of buzz.

Mastodon, the open-source Twitter alternative

With all the hubbub, other apps are trying to capitalize. A German app called Mastodon is emerging as one of the most popular Twitter replacements.

This is one of the best Twitter alternatives if you value privacy and hate corporate control of free speech on social media

Powerful companies control most social media platforms. Google owns YouTube, Meta owns Instagram and ByteDance owns TikTok.

Mastodon’s creators wanted to create a social media platform free from corporate puppeteering. Don’t think of it as a Twitter clone, though. It’s more like an open-source collection of social networks.

It looks a lot like Twitter, with hashtags, images, videos and memes. It has a bit of a learning curve, but app reviewers say they’re happy to escape social media platforms governed by Big Tech.

On Monday, Mastodon hit 1 million users for the first time. It’s only going up from there. As of Tuesday, it had 1.2 million users. According to site metrics, Mastodon is seeing a 194% increase in monthly active users.

Free, open-source decentralized social media is here thanks to Mastodon, a German non-profit that started in 2016. Here's how it works and why it's loved.

Why Mastodon is popular

To put it simply, no company controls Mastodon. Volunteer administrators run this open-source platform. Think of it as a social media platform by the people, for the people. 

One thing to keep in mind: Creeps and trolls use social media as their personal playground. Think about how much of this trash gets through to your Facebook and Twitter feeds — and those companies have huge teams fighting malicious content. Use your discretion on Mastodon and keep an eye out.

Tap or click the buttons below to start using Mastodon. You can also scroll down for more details.

How it works

If you’ve ever been in a Facebook group, Mastodon’s “instances” may be familiar to you. That’s what users refer to as their communities. They’re run by different people, groups or organizations. Just like a Facebook group, each instance has its own rules and signup procedures.

When you first start using Mastodon, you have to register your account to a server. You can always switch servers later on. Regardless of the groups you’re in, you can still follow your favorite celebrities.

Like Twitter, you can post, like other people’s posts, retweet, make bookmarks and use hashtags on Mastodon. Here are a few resources that will help you make the switch.

Just be warned: Mastodon has its own lingo, which can confuse new users. Allow me to translate a few popular terms.

  • If you hear someone say “toot,” they’re referring to a post.
  • Not sure what a “boost” is? That’s their word for retweets.

If you’re ready to give it a try, head to joinmastodon.org. Tap or click Create account, join a server you like and start posting.

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