Social media has become a powerful tool for connecting with people worldwide in all industries. Twitter and Facebook are the most popular sites in this field, but have you ever considered how these platforms might not be the most efficient? With discussions about data privacy and the spread of information, creators need to explore alternatives to these platforms to establish a more accessible and engaging way to connect with their tech audience.
Mastodon is a relatively new social network that was founded in 2016 as an alternative to Twitter. Unlike Twitter, Mastodon operates on an open-source platform and decentralizes the social networking environment, meaning no central authority exists. Instead, you can create your community or join one, making it one of the most transparent social media communities. Mastodon has gained attention for its lack of advertising, strict community moderation, and privacy features, making it a safer and more accessible platform for creators to share their work and build connections.
Connections in Mastodon happen through a series of "instances." Each "instance" operates independently, providing greater control and privacy over your content. On the other hand, Activity Pub is a protocol that allows different social media platforms to connect and communicate. Mastodon is one of many platforms capable of communicating with Activity Pub. Thus, Activity Pub enables Mastodon users to communicate with other social media platforms, such as Pleroma, MissKey, and Pixelfed.
Mastodon's decentralized structure is one of its significant advantages over traditional social media platforms. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, which are centralized platforms that store data on their servers, Mastodon's data is stored across multiple independent servers known as "instances." Mastodon users can migrate their data between different "instances," or they can host their "instance" themselves. This decentralization provides greater control and privacy.
The decentralized structure also makes it more secure than centralized social media platforms. With Mastodon, various "instances" can collaborate to ensure the platform's security. These "instances" can share security protocols, communicate security breaches, and update features to improve security. Attackers can't take down Mastodon by attacking a single "instance." Instead, they would have to attack multiple "instances," which would most likely fail.
Also, the platform is not limited by censorship. Big tech companies can restrict or censor the content to align with their interests or beliefs. Mastodon does away with this limitation by putting control in the hands of users. Each "instance" has moderation policies, giving users greater control over what they discuss, share, and view.