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How to Join Mastodon (Twitter Alternative)

Mastodon has skyrocketed in popularity after Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter.

Eugen Rochko founded it in 2016 after being dissatisfied with Twitter.

Since its launch, the app has had a lot of mixed reviews.

Given the recent spike in traffic, you need to expect slowness in some servers.

For example, verification emails can take several minutes to arrive and they might land in your junk mail.

That said, there are multiple servers on the platform, so you can join a less popular one to prevent delays.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to create an account or join Mastodon, what is it, and if you need to sign up separately on every server.

What is Mastodon?

Mastodon is a free and open-source decentralized social media platform.

It was started in 2016 by Eugen Rochko who disliked the direction of Twitter.

He believed that instant global communications were too important to belong to one company.

Hence, he aimed to develop a microblogging product that does not belong to a central authority.

As of late 2022, Mastodon has over 1 million monthly active users.

It surged in popularity because of Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter.

Many users were looking for Twitter alternatives or simply following the crowd.

How to join Mastodon

To join Mastodon, you need to download the app or visit joinmastodon.org/servers and choose a server to join.

After you’ve chosen a server to join, you need to create an account to join it.

Creating an account requires you to verify your email address and authorize the app to access your account.

Unlike other social media platforms, Mastodon does not have an individual sign-in.

When you sign up for a server, you cannot join another server using the same account.

Step 1: Download the app and choose a server to join

  1. Download Mastodon on the App Store, Google Play Store, or visit joinmastodon.org/servers.
  2. On the Mastodon app, tap on the “Sign Up” button.
  3. Select a server that’s free to join (no invitation needed).

Note: Make sure to join a server that is not invite-only or you’ll have to apply to join.

Try to join a less crowded server (a server with not so many users).

Step 2: Sign up for an account and verify your email

  1. On the login page, select “Sign up”.
  2. Choose a display name and username.
  3. Enter your email address and choose a password.
  4. Agree to the privacy policy and tap on the “Sign Up” button.
  5. Go to your email and click on the verification link to verify your email.

Note: The email verification link might take several minutes to arrive if the server is overloaded.

Step 3: Authorize Mastodon and start using the app

  1. After you’ve verified your email, open the Mastodon app, and select the server that you’ve just joined.
  2. Tap on the “Next” button followed by “Authorize”.
  3. Start using Mastodon (e.g., browse the community posts, follow users, and make your first post).

After you’ve authorized Mastodon to access your account, you’ll be able to use the app.

Select the “Community” tab to browse the server’s posts.

On Mastodon, you’ll have access to all of its features as long as you’ve joined a server.

It can be any server and it does not need to be popular.

Do I need to sign up separately on every server on Mastodon?

Yes, you need to sign up separately on every server on Mastodon to see their community posts.

Mastodon is different than other social media platforms because it does not have a single sign-up.

If you want to join other servers, you need to create an account for them individually.

This will give you the @server handle beside your display name.

Further reading

How to Create a Mastodon Server

List of Twitter Blue Features

Why is Twitter Blue Not Showing?

About the author

Lim How Wei

Lim How Wei is the founder of followchain.org, with 8+ years of experience in Social Media Marketing and 4+ years of experience as an active investor in stocks and cryptocurrencies. He has researched, tested, and written thousands of articles ranging from social media platforms to messaging apps.

Lim has been quoted and referenced by major publications and media companies like WikiHow, Fast Company, HuffPost, Vice, New York Post, The Conversation, and many others. One of his articles about the gig economy was quoted by Joe Rogan who hosts The Joe Rogan Experience (arguably the most popular podcast in the world), in the This Past Weekend podcast by Theo Von.

In his free time, Lim plays multiple games like Genshin Impact, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Hearthstone, RuneScape, and many others. He creates guides, walkthroughs, solutions, and more on games that he plays to help other players with their progression.