Mastodon, Pleroma, GNU Social, PeerTube, Friendica, and Hubzilla are among the more popular social networking services that collectively form the Fediverse.
Each service has the ability for people to create their own gathering places, called instances. There are over 2,700 instances across the Fediverse that reach over 1 million people.
By contrast, larger and older services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat only allow people who have accounts to message each other. It’s not possible for a Facebook user to message a Twitter user. But that frequently happens from Mastodon to Hubzilla.
The larger services have corporate investment, advertisements, and privacy concerns. The Fediverse is open sourced and decentralized. Given the GDPR importance of people controlling their data, maybe this is a good thing?
Unless you are a frequent reader of digital media articles, you probably never heard of the Fediverse. I admit I never heard of it until this week.
I recently joined Mastodon. While the layout is navigationally easy (as it reminds me of TweetDeck), it’s confusing to understand how to message users in other instances. It’s gratifying to read others write about their confusion too.
If you could take your first social networking steps all over again, what would you do differently? If you want to join Mastodon and try it out, you can find me there at ariherzog@social.