In 2017, it’s no secret that Twitter is now considered “played out,” especially with the emergence of social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Periscope. It’s just not as “sexy” as it used to be, especially amongst millennials. That’s why it may be time for a new twitter.
Case in point: Mastodon. This open-source, decentralized Twitter clone grew so fast over the last week that their main server had to shut down its doors for new users. It was started by 24-year-old Eugen Rochko and allows users to create accounts, follow others, and post status updates called “toots.”
But before you sign up for Mastodon, here are some pros and cons you should know about it:
- 500-character limit instead of 140.
- It offers a lot more post-level privacy controls and individual toots can be marked as private. That means you don’t have to choose between a public or a private account like you would on Twitter.
- Fully chronological timelines.
- No unwanted ads.
- You can tag your posts with a “content warning” — this automatically hides part of the message until another user selects to display it.
- It can be a bit ‘clunky’ at times because it’s so new. Features are still being tested.
- Feels more like a bunch of chat rooms rather than a cohesive, growing social network.
- User handles show up in Toots but not in the URLs for user homepages. This gives users numbers (e.g. 765) instead of identifiable website addresses.
- You can’t find people by name.
I’ll admit that the app does feel somewhat like a science project right now because it’s very much in its infancy. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if Mastodon ends up becoming the new Twitter!