Following sudden changes to Twitter’s direction and leadership, many people are joining Mastodon.
Mastodon is an open-source social network instance powered by Ruby on Rails and based on the ActivityPub protocol.
In this blog post, we’d like to introduce you to Mastodon and explain how AppSignal supports the new, growing, decentralized social media network.
How does Mastodon work?
Mastodon is like a music festival where you and your friends can enjoy different music experiences with different groups of people at the same time.
Mastodon has no stages but consists of instances, similar to how Discord consists of servers. Like a festival, you can choose an instance that best matches your interests.
Let’s say your friend Anne is really into metal. She’s joined Mastodon’s metalhead.club instance. You’ll be able to find Anne’s profile by searching for her username:
@firstname.lastname@example.org. Mastodon usernames are longer than on Twitter because they’re structured more like an email with a username and instance address:
Mastodon's Independent Instances and Portable Accounts
Like how different festival stages play different music genres, Mastodon’s instances are entirely independent too. No single person or entity owns Mastodon, it’s completely decentralized. Each instance is run by an independent community with its own themes, rules, and moderation guidelines.
Mastodon accounts are portable too. You can change instances at any time for any reason. Anne loves rave music and decides to switch to the ravenation.club instance. Anne’s username has changed to
@email@example.com, but she can continue to use Mastodon as before without impacting the accounts she follows or those who follow her.
Unlike Twitter’s single feed, Mastodon divides content into three feeds:
- Home: Users you follow
- Local: Users on your instance
- Federated: Users on your instance and all of the users they follow
There is, of course, so much more to Mastodon we’ve not covered in this blog post. We recommend reading Nikodemus’ Guide to Mastodon to learn more. You can also read Mastodon’s documentation if you’re interested in finding out more about how instances work.
AppSignal Supports Mastodon
AppSignal loves open source and Ruby, so we are proud to sponsor and officially support several Mastodon communities like ruby.social. If you are a Rubyist looking to join Mastodon, this could be the instance you’re looking for ✨. You can apply to join here (there's a queue, so don't forget to mention you're into Ruby to move along quicker), or visit the official Mastodon website to browse for more instances.
If you want to create your own Mastodon instance, you can use AppSignal to monitor the performance of the new community you are growing.