What is Mastodon?

Unless you've been living under a Tesla-sized rock, you've probably noticed the countless celebrities and public figures — and probably even a few friends — who have left Twitter in protest of Elon Musk's murky leadership following his controversial Twitter takeover.

Some of the folks fleeing Twitter have landed at a new social media platform called Mastodon. According to Mastodon, its platform allows its users to speak freely and share news, opinions and reactions.

Founded in 2016 by German software developer Eugen Rochko, Mastodon shares its name with both an extinct mammal and heavy metal band.

It's reported that Mastodon currently has over 1 million users, 489,000 of whom joined following Musk's Twitter purchase.

So, what's the big draw for users to join Mastodon?

"Decentralized content" is the big new buzzword in the world of tech. It's also the reason so many Twitter users are heading to Mastodon.

Mastodon's platform is public open source and offers "decentralized content" — meaning anyone can access the information, contribute to the forum, fix bugs and suggest new features.

Unlike Twitter, Mastodon allows its users to create original content and set their own content distribution rules.

Ironically, in a Twitter post, Mastodon shared, "Why choose Mastodon? Because it's decentralized and open-source, it can't be sold and won't go bankrupt. It respects your privacy and gives control over the network to the people. Its a product on top of a protocol, the way Twitter should have been."

Some of Mastodon's features includes hashtags, replies and "boosting" (the Mastodon equivalent of retweeting) to make digital connections among users. Also, like Twitter, Mastodon is easily accessed via a web browser or app.

However, unlike Twitter, Mastodon is reportedly nonprofit and does not run or promote ads to its users.

Do you plan to sign up for Twitter's decentralized rival? Share your Mastodon experience with PopCrush by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. (No, we're not on Mastodon yet!)

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