Twitter-Alternative Mastodon Revamps Onboarding Experience to Be More Competitive

The platform’s approach to social networking can be intimidating for newbies, so the sign-up process is being simplified

Mastodon (Getty Images)

Mastodon’s big-picture sales pitch is that it’s a decentralized social network. But to help get new users onboard, the platform is introducing a centralized introduction server. If that approach sounds counterintuitive, know that Mastodon’s well aware of the apparent contradiction.

“You may be asking, how a default server option furthers decentralization,” the platform’s sign-up revamp blog post reads. “We believe it’s important for Mastodon to be good as a product on its own merits, and not just because of its ideology. If we only attract people who already care about decentralization, our ability to make decentralization mainstream becomes that much harder.”

In other words, the social network’s new setup is a bit antithetical to the operation’s core mission, but Mastodon’s confident it’s a necessary step in order to further the growth of the platform. Now when users sign up for the network, they won’t have to fend for themselves and seek out a server they like right off the bat. Instead, they’ll be afforded a default option wherein they can get their feet wet without headache.

With that said, the platform’s blog post makes it clear that advanced users who already know what server they want to join and socialize on can ignore the new default option.

This new, rookie-friendly sign-up experience is Mastodon’s latest attempt to win over fresh users as well as converts from other platforms. If you’re wondering what platforms said converts may be coming from, recall when the decentralized social network’s name saw a spike in popularity around the time Elon Musk started making waves during his Twitter takeover.

It seems the Twitter alternative’s momentum hasn’t stopped since then. According to the blog post, the network now surpasses a billion posts per month.

The blog also makes it clear onboarding isn’t the only area Mastodon is keen on polishing. Quote posts and better profile search capabilities are just a few of the items listed as key improvements that will help keep Mastodon on the map going forward, as its Musk-led mega-opponent continues to see radical shakeups and ever-stranger developments.