Getting Started with Mastodon



What Is Mastodon?

Mastodon is an open-source, decentralized, ad-free microblogging platform similar to Twitter. It allows users to post short messages, called toots,” containing text, images, videos, and more.

Mastodon is part of the Fediverse, a collection of federated, self-hosted services that all interoperate, allowing users of these services to communicate across different platforms, similar to an email network. It includes services like Mastodon, Pleroma, PeerTube, and many others. The interaction protocol used by the Fediverse is called the ActivityPub protocol, which is an open standard for social interaction on the web.

Getting Started With Mastodon

I won’t write up exactly what Mastodon is and how to use it. There are already many great articles out there that do this. 

Find a Server/Instance

One of the things that makes Mastodon unique is that instead of being owned by one company, anyone can run a Mastodon server (including you), which means no one person or company owns the service. Each server can have its own rules and moderation.

Think of it like email. Everyone has a unique email address on one of many email services, like Gmail, Hotmail, Hey, etc. We only need their addresses if we want to communicate with people on other email services (or Mastodon servers).

The challenge becomes finding a server to join. You can quickly move accounts to another server later. You can also create separate accounts on separate servers (for work and personal, for example).

To make it easier to find a community, you’ll want to choose a server with like-minded people and discussions you are interested. However, you can follow, and be followed, by anyone on any other server.

Here are some resources that make finding a server easier.

Find People to Follow

Finding people to follow can be one of the biggest challenges with Mastodon, and several tools are available to help make this easier.

A few services even help you find the people you already follow on Twitter. Determine which server they’re on and their Mastodon address so you can follow them.

Client Apps

Since Mastodon is open-source, you have many options when picking a client app to use. You don’t need to worry about apps being banned.

You can use the official Mastodon app here, or search for 3rd Party apps on the official Mastodon site. 

Here are a few popular Mastodon apps.

It is worth noting that since Mastodon supports ActivityPub, is another service that can follow and interact with Mastodon users. My blog posts directly to, which then automatically posts to my Mastodon account.

You can follow Mastodon users on and vice-versa.I don’t know

More Resources