Still, you're not on Mastodon? The term is now surfacing the web. Mastodon is not an Internet juggernaut. Introduced in October 2016, this new social network has everything to quash our classic conception of microblogging. Currently, it is an alternative to the giant Twitter with some key differences: users can make individual posts private and their posts are limited to 500 characters rather than the 140 like on Twitter.

Mastodon, an Open Source Twitter competitor which is free, is a decentralized alternative to commercial platforms. Eugen Rochko launched Mastodon as he was just irritated with Twitter and he just started building Mastodon with some similarities of Twitter.

Rochko added many users by the thousands and in just 48 hours, the users count raised by 73 percent touching 41,703 users, according to the public counter on Mastodon’s about page.

Lots of instances to sign up

As the count has touched 1 million posts authored by its users, Rochko has shut down the new signup's to avoid the high volume of people registering and also until the quality of this new service convinces the existing users. Speaking of the service, Eugen Rochko said: "I brought all my friends to Twitter back in the day. I kept promoting it to everybody I knew. I really loved the service. But it continuously made decisions that I didn't like. So, in the end, I decided that maybe Twitter itself is not the way to go forward," he added.

To sign up to this service, there are a lot of instances as it is an open source. The original instance is closed for now because of the high amount of people trying to register. Today, everyone can join this network to discuss with all the registered users.

As all the instances are part of the same network, they can communicate with each other.

Thus, all users of all instances can find themselves on the global public thread. In order to interact only with the people who have chosen the same instance, you have to go to the local public channel.

How to choose your instance?

Each of the instances has a description that allows you to know the publication rules and whether the community has a specific purpose or an identity.

But one can also click and choose at random. In detail, on any instance, you can express yourself by means of "toots" (forget the "tweets") of 500 characters compared to the 140 on Twitter.

Posts can be individually protected so that they can be seen only by followers, and there is an option to require followers to be approved. Each toot can indeed be posted in public, in private, or intended only for certain people. A toot can comprise of video content or optional images or GIF content.

The user interface is built with a great deal of customization and user control in mind. Users can also add content warnings to posts, which hides the post content until dismissed. Blocking support is very extensive so blocking a user will not only hide their posts but reblogs of their posts and posts that also mention them.