Mastodon, the open source microblogging website, is seeing a huge spike in new users after Twitter boss Elon Musk banned the official Mastodon account and some journalists who had thousands of followers.
The over half-dozen journalists whose Twitter accounts have been banned had been writing about the company and Mr Musk. Many of the journalists have joined Mastodon and got thousands of followers in a few hours.
Groups on Mastodon have said some servers may start to struggle due to a "very big surge of new users right now."
"Mastodon has a very big surge of new users right now. There's no way to tell if it will be sustained, but at this early point it looks similar to November 18 when [Elon] Musk pulled the employee purge," Mastodon Migration, which helps new users, posted.
"It is very challenging for system administration to accommodate so many new users. If your server starts to struggle, it is not broken and will get sorted out. We're all in this together. It's our social network. Be patient. What we are building is amazing," it said.
What exactly is Mastodon?
Mastodon was released in October 2016. However, the microblogging website really took off in March-April 2017.
The user interface of Mastodon and Twitter may seem similar, but that is where the familiarity ends. Both have vastly different engines humming under the hood. There is a fundamental technical difference between how Mastodon and Twitter work.
Some of the words commonly used on Mastodon when seen in the context of Twitter are - "toot" for tweet, "instance" for server or group, "boost" or "reblog" for retweet, and "fediverse" for the entire Mastodon server ecosystem.
Mastodon has a limit of 500 characters.
Mastodon has hundreds of different servers on which groups are hosted and every server has its own rules.
A server may say do not post so and so content, and so and so content is allowed.
A group on Mastodon is called an "instance". So when one signs up, one is joining an "instance" or a group. There are several "instances" with different names, but all are on Mastodon.
People in one "instance" can communicate with another "instance" - though both may have different rules.