In the ever-evolving landscape of social media, one platform that has been gaining significant traction is Mastodon. It’s often compared to Twitter due to its microblogging format, but it offers a fresh and unique approach to online social networking. If you’ve been wondering how to dip your toes but feel a bit lost amidst the initial setup, you’ve come to the right place to get started with Mastodon.
We’ve taken the liberty of breaking down the process into easily digestible bits, so you won’t feel overwhelmed by the transition. Whether you’re a social media newbie or a seasoned user looking to explore this exciting platform, we’ve got you covered with all the essential information you need to know.
Not only will we walk you through the step-by-step process of setting up your Mastodon account, but we’ll also note unique features that set it apart from other social media platforms. By the end of this article, you’ll have a solid understanding of how to navigate Mastodon and engage with its vibrant community.
Here’s what you’ll be reading further down:
- What is Mastodon?
- 10 important Mastodon statistics to know before getting started
- How the platform looks like
- Get started with 5 easy steps
- Schedule and create posts on Mastodon with Publer
What is Mastodon?
Mastodon is similar to Twitter, but it works in a different way. It’s a small blogging platform that many people have been using recently. It was created by Eugen Rochko in 2016. If you want to know more about that, here’s an article on who owns Mastodon?
There are two important things to know about Mastodon:
First, it’s open-source. This means that a specific company does not own it. Instead, it’s built and maintained by people who volunteer their time, and anyone can use Mastodon for free.
Second, Mastodon is decentralized. In other words, it’s not controlled by just one company or person. Instead, there are many different instances (servers) of Mastodon that people can join. Each instance is like a separate community, but they can all connect and interact with each other.
This decentralized approach gives users more control over their data and how they use the platform. It’s part of a larger movement called web3 that focuses on giving people more power over their online experiences.
10 Important Mastodon Statistics to Know
We have gathered some important information about Mastodon that might just make you sign up for a new account!
- As of September 2023, Mastodon has 8.1 million accounts.
- Only around 1.7 million of those accounts are active users.
- About 27.27% of Mastodon users are from Germany.
- Around 32.96% of all Mastodon users are aged between 25 and 34 years old.
- Twitter drives over 90% of the website traffic to Mastodon.
- Male users on Mastodon are nearly twice as many as female users.
- Mastodon received over 1.4 million visits in October 2022.
- The platform has two types of fees: federated and local.
- Users can create one Mastodon account per server they want to join.
- News is the most popular topic discussed on Mastodon.
Take a Look at the Platform Itself
If you’re familiar with Twitter, you’ll find that Mastodon’s user interface looks similar. But, as you use it more, you’ll notice some important differences in how things work behind the scenes.
On Mastodon, you can reply, share (called “boost”), or like (“favorites”) other users’ posts, just like on other platforms. However, there are some unique aspects.
For instance, there is no option to “quote tweet” intentionally. Liking a post doesn’t affect any Mastodon algorithm because there isn’t one. It simply lets the author know that you liked their post. Understanding this is important to know how Mastodon functions.
Unlike other social media platforms, Mastodon doesn’t use algorithms to filter your feed. Instead, posts are organized based on recency, giving importance to your own curation and searches.
Some instances may have trending topics and post-exploration, but it’s not a core feature. As a result, you won’t see users chasing likes or shares, participating in “hashtag wars,” or trying to force a specific topic on everyone’s feed.
It might interest you: Is Mastodon Marketing Worth Your Time?
Get Started with Mastodon in 5 Easy Steps
If you’re thinking about signing up for Mastodon, keep reading to discover how to get started in 5 steps.
Choose Your Mastodon Server
To start using Mastodon, the first thing you need to do is choose a server, which is also called an “instance.” Unlike big social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, Mastodon works with lots of smaller servers created by different people, groups, or communities.
Joining a Mastodon server is a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Visit the website: joinmastodon.org/servers.
- Explore the list of available servers, which are categorized based on language, interests, topics, sign-up process, and themes.
- Choose a server that aligns with your preferences and interests.
- Click on “Create account” or a similar button associated with your chosen server.
- Follow the instructions provided by the server to create your account and become a part of their community.
Read the Rules
Once you click on “Create account” for the server you’ve chosen, you’ll be taken to a page that shows the rules set by the moderators of that specific community. It’s important to carefully read and understand these rules. If you agree with them, you can accept them and proceed.
But if the rules don’t match what you’re looking for, you can explore other servers that better suit your preferences.
Set up Your Profile
Now that you’ve chosen your community and familiarized yourself with the rules, it’s time to set up your profile. Follow these steps to get started:
- Register: Provide your email address and create a display name, username, and password to complete the registration process.
- Profile Picture: Once you’re logged in, you can personalize your profile by adding a photo or avatar that represents you. This helps others recognize and connect with you.
- Two-Factor Authentication: Enhance the security of your Mastodon account by enabling two-factor authentication. Access the account settings and follow the instructions to set it up. This additional layer of protection ensures the safety of your account.
Check Out Your Timelines
Mastodon operates with various timelines and an Explore section, similar to how a Twitter timeline functions. Here’s a breakdown of the different timelines and features:
- Home Timeline: Like Twitter, the Home timeline on Mastodon shows posts from people you follow. It helps you stay updated with the content shared by those you’re interested in.
- Local Timeline: Unlike the Home timeline, the Local timeline displays posts from all users on your server. It gives you a broader view of the discussions and content within your specific Mastodon community.
- Federated Timeline: The Federated timeline shows public posts from users across different networks on your server. It allows you to see posts made by people followed by others on your server. This timeline gives you a wider perspective beyond your immediate network.
- Explore Section: Mastodon also has an Explore section where you can search for users and hashtags. It helps you discover new accounts and popular topics within the Mastodon ecosystem.
Now that you understand the basics, it’s time to start exploring. Search for topics you’re interested in, follow people who share your interests, and join conversations.
Create your own posts, reply to others, and share posts that you like. If you want to add pictures, gifs, or videos to your posts, just click on the clip icon. You can also create polls to get opinions from others.
It’s important to follow the community guidelines and be responsible when posting. If you come across any abusive behavior or rule violations, report the users involved to keep the environment safe and respectful.
Create and Schedule Mastodon Posts with Publer!
Publer is a social media management tool that works with many different platforms. It supports Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Business, YouTube, WordPress, Telegram, and most recently: Mastodon.
We’ve written an in-depth article on how to get started with Mastodon scheduling via Publer:
To get started with Publer, choose one of the three available plans: Free, Professional, and Business.
Each plan offers useful features to help you create, schedule, and manage your social media content effectively, leading to positive outcomes.
You can sign up for free today and later choose the plan that fits your needs the best. If you want to compare Publer with other tools, you can check it out here.