How to register on Mastodon?

That’s it, Twitter officially belongs to Elon Musk. On October 28, the entrepreneur officially got his hands on the microblogging site after months of confusion, controversy and lawsuits. The change is not smooth, because Musk’s policy in terms of content moderation and the evolution of the platform is controversial.

If you don’t want to stay on Twitter after Tesla’s CEO took over the site, there’s an alternative: Mastodon. Online since 2016, this service positions itself as a quasi-clone of Twitter, but emphasizes the openness of the code and the decentralization of data. During one day on October 29, the site recorded more than 70,000 new account creations, a surge undoubtedly linked to the acquisition of Twitter.

If you want to start an adventure, follow the guide.

Warning for use

Before registering, it is necessary to clarify one simple thing: Mastodon is not Twitter. If the basic operation of the service is very similar to the blue bird (with the publication of short messages and the possibility of “following” different accounts), the technical choices made by Mastodon are quite different from those made by the competitor this. .

As we said above, Mastodon is a decentralized service, this means that it is not hosted on the servers of a single company. Everyone can create their own Mastodon server (called an “instance”) and apply their own rules to it. Different instances can communicate with each other, but each has specifics in terms of medium, technical limitations, etc. Simply put, Mastodon is similar to how a mailbox works: you can create an account with any service provider and communicate with anyone (using a Gmail address to send messages to an Outlook address by example). No need to mount a server in the middle of your living room, there are public bodies that welcome new subscribers (we’ll come back to this).

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Mastodon is also less popular than Twitter (for now). This means you don’t have to find all your favorite accounts when you register. The community is smaller and the number of messages published is less important. Let’s be honest, we are far from the non-stop flow of Twitter, which may annoy some or make others happy. However, new people are signing up every day.

Step 1: select your instance

To get started with Mastodon, you need to choose your favorite instance. The mastodon.social instance (Mastodon’s historical server) is a good start if you don’t want to ask yourself too many questions. Unfortunately, registrations on this server have been temporarily suspended due to the influx of new accounts. Regardless, there were many other bodies, including many French ones. The full list is available on the official website.

Once you’ve selected your instance, remember it, because it’s through this exact URL that you can reconnect. In the same way that it is not possible to access a Yahoo mailbox with Gmail credentials, it is not possible to access your Mastodon account from an instance different from the one chosen when creating the account.

Step 2: create your account

When you have decided which moment suits you best (usually in April, an association for the promotion and defense of free software), fill in some personal details that will ask you, then click REGISTRATION. Most times you will be sent a confirmation email to verify that you are not a bot. Click it and that’s it, you’re in Mastodon.

Keep your username handy (consisting of your user name and the address of the instance) because it will allow you to be identified in the jungle in different cases of Mastodon.

Step 3: Build your network

Once you have successfully registered with Mastodon, all you have to do is follow the accounts you want. To do this, you can use the search tool (it is better to specify the full address of the account you are looking for), see the suggested accounts in Assess or check on Twitter to see if any of your following accounts have switched to Mastodon. However, be careful, like Twitter, there are many “fake” accounts that impersonate media or public figures. Make sure the page you follow is “official”.

Then, all you have to do is write your first messages and congratulate yourself for registering in a decentralized social network, open source and respectful of personal data!

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