How to get started on Mastodon: the alternative to Twitter

Twitter, this platform that we all know, has not always been synonymous with friendliness and benevolence. What would you say if I told you that an alternative exists, capable of offering you rewarding exchanges without the disadvantages of the blue bird? Get ready to embark on a journey to the heart of Mastodon, a universe that could well change the way you perceive social networks.

Navigating this new world may seem confusing, but don't worry: our handy guide is here to walk you through Mastodon step-by-step, revealing the secrets to an optimal user experience.

Introducing Mastodon, the new Twitter?

Mastodon is a great alternative to networks of traditional social media like Twitter and its user interface shouldn't be too difficult to pick up. Its operation is quite simple:

  • You can create "toots", which are the equivalent of 500 character tweets.
  • Boost or retweet something you find interesting.
  • And favor something like you would with a heart on Twitter.

What sets Mastodon apart is that it's decentralized and community owned, which means that no ads or intrusive algorithms will ever determine how your feed looks, only chronological posts. If this is something you are interested in, you will have several servers to choose from depending on your interests.

Another benefit of Mastodon is privacy. Indeed, users can automatically delete their messages after a certain duration. They also control their visibility in search engines. Mastodon allows subscriptions to be validated before accessing your content.

With these features, Mastodon gives users greater flexibility in how they use the platform.

What you need to know about how Mastodon works

Unlike Twitter, Mastodon relies on multiple servers, called "instances" in the Mastodon universe. Contrary to what one might think, Mastodon is open source software for self-hosting social media services. Thus, everyone can create and manage their own Mastodon server.

Simply put, Mastodon is not a single social networking site, but a host of independent sites called Mastodon servers/instances. To start, you need to choose a server.

Each server/instance has its own rules, moderation policies and terms of service, set by its owner, whether an individual or an organization.

Among the most popular Mastodon servers is, owned by Mastodon founder Eugen Rochko. However, following the massive influx of users, this server no longer accepts registrations. Fortunately, other servers are available.

No matter which server you choose, you will be able to follow and interact with users from other servers. However, your content must respect the policy of the selected server. It is therefore crucial to choose the right server.

First steps on Mastodon

To get started on Mastodon, start by determining your mode of use. Several third-party and official apps exist for Mastodon. We advise you to use the official Android/iOS apps, or go to from a computer browser. Once familiar with the platform, you can test third-party applications that offer more functionality.

We will describe the process from on a computer browser. Using the web rather than the mobile app has an advantage: you can explore a server's posts and hashtags before joining it.

Here are the steps to register on Mastodon:

  • Visit the website with your favorite browser and click on "Create an account".
  • You will be redirected to the Mastodon Servers page. Explore the options available in various areas and filter them by language or region.
  • Select a server according to its type (open, requiring approval or invitation-based) and click on "Create an account" or "Request an account".
  • Read and accept the server rules.
  • Complete the registration form. If necessary, explain why you want to join the server. Click on "Register".
  • For open registration servers, a confirmation email will be sent: follow the link to get started. For servers that require approval, wait for moderator approval, which may vary by server.

Once you've cleared that milestone, it's time to start exploring all that Mastodon has to offer!

Using Mastodon: A Beginner's Guide

After creating your Mastodon account, it's time to enjoy the platform.

Mastodon is an interface that allows you to communicate with people around the world. With three separate threads on its interface, it allows users to share and discover content in a more specialized way.

Find people to follow

One of the first steps is to identify interesting people to follow. Mastodon prioritizes connections over engagement, with no algorithm to influence your news feed. You'll only see posts from people you follow, in chronological order.

Following members of your server is simple. You will see them as soon as your account is activated. To follow someone from another server, you will need their full Mastodon address, consisting of username and server name/domain. For example, Eugen Rochko's address on the server is

Use the search bar to type in someone's username, then find and follow them.

Share your thoughts on Mastodon

Posting, or "tooting," on Mastodon has similarities to Twitter, but with a few subtleties to uncover.

Head to the text field to write your toot, taking advantage of the generous 500 character limit. You can also enrich your posts with photos, videos, audio files and polls with the attachments and polls options.

In the body of your post, you have the option of inserting links, mentions, hashtags and even custom emojis to enrich your message.

Once you're done, hit the "Publish" button.

Discover your newsfeed

First, the "Home" tab shows posts from people you follow.

Then, by selecting the "Local Public Feed" tab, you will see the latest public posts from users on your server.

In addition, the "Global Public Feed" option allows you to access the federated timeline, which brings together recent public posts from your server and other Mastodon servers. It's a great way to discover new users.

Finally, the "Explore" page highlights popular posts on your server and across the Mastodon network. Do not hesitate to boost (the equivalent of retweeting), liking, replying to and adding to favorites the messages encountered on these news feeds.


Mastodon is a great way to stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues. To use Mastodon effectively, users need to be familiar with the platform. It is important to remember that each account in Mastodon is created under an open source server, this means that other people from different servers can see your messages and even follow or join conversations within your server.

As long as users pay attention to the content they post and their label, they can enjoy the many benefits of Mastodon, such as the ability to communicate in multiple languages ​​at once and receive updates from user-generated content. in real time.