Twitter-killer Mastodon.Social is Here to Stay

Twitter has been under fire lately for a number of reasons, including unchecked instances of trolling, constant spam abuse in the direct messages and feeds full of fake news in the form of tweets. A new-kid-on-the-block, bridge tool for finding friends and followers, is a microblogging service that aims to rid the world of all that has been bugging Twitter users: ads, spam, trolls and an increasing lack of privacy. Mastodon.Social is an open-source online discussion platform that is nearly identical to Twitter with some crucial differences.The hype for Mastodon.Social has been picking up steam this week and there are as many critics as there are cheerleaders. Techie-trend guru, Robert Scoble, refuses to put his money on Mastodon.Social as a Twitter-killer. Comments over other social network sites predict Mastodon.Social going the way of Ello or Google+; quickly vanishing from our desktops and memories.  Here is what founder Eugen Rochko says about Mastodon.Social: It’s built for people, by people, under the scrutiny of people. Which means there is a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech as well as sexism and racism that had run rampant on Twitter.  Mastodon.Social reminds me of early-day Twitter while there a moments where it resembles mIRC chat channels. Chances are you will find the beyond capacity, so you will have to log in using a list of servers listed on the homepage. The network exists on multiple servers with various instances. Right now, this is a major downside as it effectively divides users into virtual silos. There is a Federated Timeline to ensure communication, however it is not the default view. The set-up is simple enough and the dashboard is reminiscent of Tweetdeck, a popular social media management tool.  Your username can work like email addresses, for example,  One of the most exciting deviations from the Twitter model is the ability to write statuses up to 500 characters long; a substantial improvement over Twitter’s 140 characters limit.  Your posts can be private without making your entire account private. Users get per-post privacy settings, much like Facebook, as well as very good blocking and muting tools on the new platform.Mastodon.Social retains the original format for typing mentions & replies. This is a huge relief to all of us who were frustrated by the new layout rolled out by Twitter last week. Every tweet is now a ‘toot’ and a re-tweet is a ‘boost’. We get timelines that work the way Nature intended -chronologically! No-more random algorithms that determine how you see your timeline, and you can say good-bye to the “In case you missed this”  feature. There is zero advertising to be seen and it is going to stay ad-free. There is now a bridge tool for finding friends and followers available for you Windows 10 users in the Microsoft Store.     I was worried about my entourage until I saw this  bridge tool for finding friends and followers on the Mastodon network. For Mastodon to feel like home, I will need a couple hundred of my favourite people on here. The Local timeline consists of everyone’s public posts from that particular instance (in my case that would be while the Federated timeline has been compared to e-mail.  Rochko describes the Federated timeline as “…users are spread throughout different, independent communities, yet remain unified in their ability to interact with each other”.  If you are looking for friends on a different instance, you will have to @friend’susername@friend’s instance in the search bar.Will Mastodon.Social cause Twitter to go the way of the Dodo bird? While we wait for  these micro-blogging sites to fight to the finish, I have few comments for team over at Mastodon.Social. They might want to look up on the internet why calling a tweet a toot is not the greatest marketing idea. Also, they might want to reconsider having a large, slow animal that has been extinct for years as their mascot.

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