Original Article By Vidhi Choudhary At TheStreet.com

Emotions have been running high in the internet’s favorite town square, as one of the most significant deals in tech history was made official.

Social media company Twitter  (TWTR) – Get Twitter, Inc. Report accepted Tesla  (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report and SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk’s takeover bid of $54.20 a share, effectively setting the stage for a new version of Twitter once the deal is approved.

It may also be one that is expected to loosen censorship, may include an edit button, and have an open-source algorithm, giving users a lot more power.

While Twitter founder Jack Dorsey has given Musk his blessing describing this deal as the “right path” forward, the platform’s 217 million daily active users are finding it harder to digest the news. 

With hashtags like R.I.P. Twitter and #leavingtwitter trending in the United States recently, many on the internet are searching for their next best alternative to get their social media endorphins going.

Enter Mastodon

Mastodon is an open-source, decentralized social network founded back in 2016. It has seen a surge of new users over the last 24 hours.

Mastodon saw a similar spike in popularity in response to Twitter’s content moderation practices in 2019, particularly from users in India.

The network says it has more than 4.4 million people on the platform. That makes it one of the smaller social media companies. It was founded by a young German developer Eugen Rochko.

Rochko describes himself as a full-stack developer on professional networking site LinkedIn. That means he can code, is fluent in operating web browsers, and can manage the back end and server side of the internet among other related skills. 

He has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Germany’s Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

Rochko was an avid Twitter user according to a Medium interview from 2018. 

“I was always sold on the idea a service like that ought not to be a commercial property,” Rochko said.

He also hated the idea of switching between Facebook  (FB) – Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A Report, Twitter and MySpace and having friends across different social networks. 

“At some point I was like, come on, how many more times do I have to go through this?! We need something that’ll work forever,” Rochko added in the interview cited above.

Mastodon Has Instances, Not Tweets

Mastodon is similar to Twitter in the way that users can make profiles, post messages, share images or videos and follow other users. 

But because it is a decentralized social network, it is not operated or controlled by one server, company or person.

Every message on Mastodon comes with a 500 character limit, higher than Twitter’s 280 characters. Mastodon’s default desktop view is a single-column display, comparable to Twitter’s design.

It has a chronological feed and no algorithm curating what users see based on whom they follow.

Mastodon is a network comprised of several “instances” that communicate with one another. 

Think Twitter threads or a subreddit message board which can be moderated like a private community or can be open to the public.

Mastodon is totally free of advertising. It is run entirely on donations directed to support the service.

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