What is Mastodon? Everything you need to know

Mastodon
Mastodon logo

Mastodon is free and open-source software for running self-hosted social networking services. It has microblogging features similar to the Twitter service, which are offered by a large number of independently run nodes, known as instances, each with its own code of conduct, terms of service, privacy options, and moderation policies.

Mastodon App was founded in 2016 by Eugen Rochko the site looks similar to Twitter on the surface but is more complex under the hood.

Each user is a member of a specific Mastodon instance (also called a server), which can interoperate as a federated social network, allowing users on different instances to interact with each other. This is intended to give users the flexibility to select a node whose policies they prefer, but keep access to a larger social network. Mastodon is also part of the Fediverse ensemble of server platforms, which use shared protocols allowing users to also interact with users on other compatible platforms, such as PeerTube and Friendica. Mastodon is crowdfunded and does not contain ads.

The Mastodon mascot is an animal with a trunk, resembling a mastodon or mammoth, sometimes depicted using a tablet or smartphone. Messages posted using the software are colloquially known as “toots”. Mastodon was created by Eugen Rochko and announced on Hacker News in October 2016.

Are mastodons private?

Mastodon offers robust privacy controls: allowing users to set up automatic deletion of old posts, set personalized keyword filters, approve followers, and hide their social graph (the list of your followers and those you follow). Unfortunately, there is no analog to making your account “private.”

How do I find a Mastodon?

Mastodon has a search function – you can use it to search for users and hashtags. The search does not look through the entire text of posts, only hashtags. In order to start a search, just type into the search box in the Compose column and hit enter; This will open the search pane.

Mastodon App For iOS

Finding the best Mastodon app for iOS is tricky and time-consuming, but it’s worth it. Apple’s App Store has a growing list of third-party apps available, which makes venturing into the Mastodon realm easier than ever. While many are free, plenty of paid clients are worthwhile too. For users unsure what iPhone app is right for their Mastodon experience, here are some of the best iOS Mastodon apps they need to check out

Users looking to get away from Twitter have landed upon Mastodon. The platform is a free and open-source social networking site. It is unique because it has many servers, and its decentralized nature requires each server to cover its own upkeep cost. Users love it for its microblogging features, an eerie resemblance to Twitter. Because it is open-source, many developers have taken a shot at crafting their own Mastodon clients, equipped with tools and custom features packed into an app.

Luckily for iPhone users, plenty of third-party apps make their Mastodon experience delightful. Narrowing down which one to use is tricky, as they are all unique. Mastodon’s native app is ranked #16 on the free social networking chart in the App Store and even is reviewed highly with a 4.5 rating. But judging by the reviews, it isn’t very user-friendly for users who aren’t used to Mastodon’s servers, and the app needs some tender love and care. The high reviews were mainly about the presence of the platform rather than the app itself. Still, there are two Mastodon clients that users seem to agree with much better than the native app, Metatext and Toot!.

Metatext

With a high 4.5 rating in the App Store, what users love the most about Metatext is its clean and intuitive interface. Metatext receives many comments about being fast and easy to use. Several users even call it the ‘Best app for Mastodon.’ That doesn’t mean the app isn’t missing a few features. There seem to be several people asking for dark mode, and users discovered a few bugs. The advertisement does display a dark mode ability, so perhaps it is buried within the settings. But Metatext’s key feature is the ability to use multiple accounts simultaneously. The combined feed is handy since users have multiple accounts to access different servers. Another feature favorite is the app’s complete absence of ads, tracking, or algorithms, so users can view their feed how they want to and not worry about privacy violations. As far as free apps go, Metatext is a great companion for Mastodon users.

Toot!

Free is great, but there is a reason Toot! holds the number one spot in the paid social networking of the App Store. While the app does cost users $3.99, it is the best app for new Mastodon users. Toot! ‘s 4.4 ratings are backed by users’ appreciation of the design, animations, and UI touches. It is fast and powerful, allowing users to swap between accounts effortlessly. People don’t like that it still has a few kinks regarding font size changes and, apparently, a bug regarding hashtags. Some users also complain about the app icons being customizable but at an additional cost. Even with these shortcomings, users rave about its ease of use, filters, and feature tools.

As Mastodon grows, so will the number of third-party apps. While Metatext and Toot! are favored among users today, it wouldn’t take much for another app to grab the spotlight. Mercury for Mastodon is new, but users are raving about its design and growing features, such as scheduling posts. iOS users should keep an eye on Apple’s App Store for the latest Mastodon client apps. Before choosing an app, though, the first step is selecting a Mastodon server.

Mastodon For Android

With many looking to Mastodon as a potential replacement for their favorite social networks, here are some of the best apps for Mastodon available to download on Android.

Best Mastodon apps for Android

  • Mastodon (official)

You can’t go wrong with the official Mastodon app for Android, developed by Mastodon GmbH. Despite being created by the maintainers of the original Mastodon. social server, the app comes loaded with a list of other public instances that you can join, divided into topical categories.

  • Mastodon (PWA)

You don’t need to download a full-fat native app to have the Mastodon experience on your Android phone. Every Mastodon instance’s website comes bundled with the ability to be installed as a Progressive Web App (or PWA).

The layout on phones is a bit awkward, opting for a full-height navigation rail on the right-hand side, which takes away some screen real estate from the feed of posts. Part of this is because, surprisingly, the Mastodon PWA has a few extra features that the native Android app does not. For instance, there’s a dedicated tab for direct messages, as well as one that provides a live timeline of every post being made by every user of nearly every Mastodon instance.

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