Mastodon has been around since 2016 but has recently seen a surge in users.
With Elon Musk taking over Twitter, a number of users are leaving the platform and seeking alternatives. This has led to the surge in the user base of Mastodon, also based in the United States, according to CNN. The platform is not new, it has been around since 2016, but recent churn at Twitter has changed its fortunes. 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 known as "toots".
What is Mastodon?
Android Police said in an article that Mastodon is an open-source "microblogging alternative to Twitter". It doesn't function in a centralised manner but has numerous independent and user-managed servers.
These servers are themed according to location, city or interest - like UK, social, technology etc - according to the BBC. However, users can interact with freely with others.
It works similar to Twitter, which means that users can tag other users, share media and even follow other accounts. Independent servers is the only distinguishing feature between the two microblogging platforms.
How many users have joined Mastodon?
According to Mastodon team, it now has over 655,000 users, with over 230,000 having joined in the last week, according to a report in the BBC.
The platform was originally created by Eugen Rochko, who announced it on hacker News in 2016.
Is there moderation on Mastodon?
Currently, all the servers have their own moderation rules, and some have none, the BBC report said. These servers can block others where hate speech is being propagated. Posts can also be reported to server owners, the outlet further said.
Who all have signed up on Mastodon?
CNN said that journalist Molly Jong-Fast, and actor and comedian Kathy Griffin joined the platform in October and November, respectively.
There are several other users too, like university professors, who are leaving Twitter and migrating to Mastodon.