Amid uncertainty and criticism following Elon Musk’s takeover of social media giant Twitter, nearly half a million users have flocked to Mastodon, a decentralized alternative. 

See related article: SBF wanted to join Elon Musk Twitter deal, private text messages show

Fast facts

  • Mastodon, created by the German-based non-profit Mastodon gGmbH in 2016, is an open-source network of thousands of servers that act as individual social media platforms. 
  • The network says its monthly average users has more than doubled to 860,000 since Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk officially took over Twitter, triggering a string of controversies and news about upcoming paywalls and other changes. 
  • Mastodon’s servers, such as,, and have layouts similar to Twitter, allowing users to post to news feeds using hashtags, re-posts and likes. 
  • However, Mastodon seeks to distinguish itself from Twitter and other social media sites. The network calls itself a “social networking server that’s not for sale,” offering a platform without algorithms, ads or paywalls.
  • Additionally, independent organizations and individuals heading the network’s over 3,600 individual servers will be tasked with creating rules and moderation for the sites, as opposed to Twitter’s top-down approach, according to Mastodon. 

See related article: Is Elon Musk’s Twitter grab good for crypto?