Mastodon vs. Twitter: Know the differences

Looking for an alternative to Twitter and thinking about joining the folks flocking to Mastodon? Here’s how the two platforms compare to each other.

From restructuring their workforces to facing big fines, big tech companies have been on a roller coaster ride recently – but certainly none quite as much as Twitter. Indeed, Twitter has entered a whole new era since Elon Musk became the company’s owner and CEO last October, and you can bet your Tesla that there are more changes on the way for the social media platform.

While many became concerned over their data and how Twitter’s new leadership will deal with content moderation, another platform benefited from the upheaval, gaining momentum and a lot of new users in the process: Mastodon grew from 300,000 users in October to over 2 million in December.

How is Mastodon different from Twitter?

While both are microblogging websites, they’re not like-for-like in many aspects that go way beyond the character limit on tweets and toots, respectively – 280 (for now, anyway) versus 500.

Let’s now review some of the other key differences in greater detail, as well as how to best protect your account on each platform.

1. Centralized vs. decentralized

Twitter is owned and operated by Twitter, Inc., a single company that defines the social network’s policy, moderation rules, and general organization. Just like Meta owns and operates Facebook or Instagram, for example.

Mastodon, on the other hand, is fully decentralized. Mastodon gGmbH is a nonprofit responsible

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