As promised, here is my on on popular demand.

I am trying my best to talk on layman language, avoiding too much of technical jargons, so that I can tell you what is this new social media service, how to join, choice of apps, etc.

First thing you should know that is a decentralized social media platform.

That is the fundamental difference between of it from or .

A decentralized network, which means there is no central group with all of the power.

So here it is

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isn’t just a website, it is a federation.

There are thousands, of small communities that live within the Mastodon system.

Each one is independent and unique, but they can all talk to one another.

These communities are called "INSTANCES".

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So you are not creating your account in a centralised server here like in

Instead at any domain that runs Mastodon is called an instance and you can join any instance!


Think about various email providers.

Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook etc.

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These email providers are analogous to instances.

U can create an email address is or

Here xyz is the username. We know that both email address belong to different persons or same persons.

They can send email to each other.

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Here in our works in the same way, for that it uses a protocol called Activity Hub, so that various instances can speak to each other.

So and and are different instances in

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I seen that someone here complain about fake site and claimed that finally created profile in the original site, means

Natural confusion.

Unlike Twitter which is having a unique site,

You can join through any INSTANCE

Show thread is the flagship site, which is maintained by Eugen, who is the creator of which is having around 4 lakh users! instance with 5.8 lakh users is biggest

But my instance is having only 3721 users!

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You can find the list of all instances available in and its user base from this link

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If you are confused to choose an instance, this link will help you to choose you

Given screenshots to understand how the steps are!

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So you should understand that many instances choices are in of .

Whichever instances you join, you can follow people at other instances & see the toots of theirs. Similarly your toots are visible to your followers irrespective of their instances.

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This is an area which many of the people, even prominent people, complain about, some says that these instances create confusion!

My QN is are you confused with Gmail and Yahoo mail?

You are too much used to Twitterverse & you expect a single server.

Here it work differently

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In Twitter's centralised world, you can be identified by your "username"

Same is the case is with Facebook.

But here your ID is

Exactly like email, ie,

Here my ID is

My instance name is also needed to identify

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So if people are complaining that this is so complicated and confusing in comparison with Twitter, let me ask you one question.

Are you confused with various email addresses with different service providers?

Is it necessary all should have same domain address to communicate?

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So please understand when you join in , you are joining in a federated network and you choose an INSTANCE of your choice.

Here no centralised server or a monopoly corporation, each instance is a community which is moderated by human admins, not by bots run on AI ;)

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In my opinion, understanding what is an INSTANCE is the most important aspect on .

'Activity pub' protocol helps each instance to talk with other instances in and do these functions shown in the picture, so we get an interface familiar to

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So it is your choice to join which instance, a large instance or a small instance or a special community instance or general instance.

But that choice is not going to curtail your freedom to follow people from other instances or getting followers from other instances.

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Now how to join in ?

First let me teach you when someone sharing their profile, how you can join from that link to

Example mine

Open and click follow, so you can sign up from there.

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This link opens take you to my instance sign up page. If you want to join my instance fill up the form and join there.

Otherwise forget the above steps.

I will guide you how to join other instances in next tweet.

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The next way is click this link and choose from any instance (server) of your choice.

Here for example, I decided to join site, then click join and then sign up in that instance.

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@jamewils good comparison. People are familiar with email. We should use email to explain federation of Mastodon to Twitter users.


Useful information, especially to spread around Tw****r.

Content and presentation is very similar to @savjee's excellent video, which could also be shared to explain things to newbies too:

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@jamewils does it matter which instance you join? Will the experience be different for different instances?

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@jamewils That one is a little outdated. Many errors 😢

@jamewils So how can we create our own instance and run with our own rules?

There should be documents on how to do that. Search it on the internet and you should find it.

@anuragsingh @jamewils if you are not a techie then is a good bet. If you are a techie you will find the code on Github

@tariquesani @jamewils I am a software engineer but didn't want to dig deeper myself. Thanks for helping me.

@tachyons @jamewils they have a lot of not accounts, so their user number isnt real

@jamewils But we '' only exist for one week now!

@stux @jamewils
Wow you started only a week ago? What a timing mate, just in time for all the Indians fleeing from Twitter, and even some mainstream publicity now

@stux @jamewils Is anyone planning something special for when we hit the initial milestones like 5k, 10k? 😋

@stux @jamewils @noorul It could be celebration + introspection.
Celebration because: We all exchanged so many ideas and created a wonderful platform.

Introspection because: We could know what all good this platform did to us and what we could do better to improve the platform. 🙂


huge potential... as there can be separate servers for focused platforms like linkedin on mastodon itself.

Would say shitposter.Club is a good instance @moonman host it.
@ice @jamewils @moonman Yes and we're the only fediverse instance that fully cooperates with the Assam police force.

@jamewils Do you think @Gargron gets a little excited when he says the words "for instance..." in casual conversation and starts dreaming of his empire? :aubergine_fb:


ആദ്യം നിങ്ങൾ അറിഞ്ഞിരിക്കേണ്ടത് മാസ്റ്റോഡൺ ഒരു വികേന്ദ്രീകൃത സോഷ്യൽ മീഡിയ പ്ലാറ്റ്‌ഫോമാണ്.

ട്വിറ്ററിൽ നിന്നോ ഫേസ്ബുക്കിൽ നിന്നോ ഉള്ള അടിസ്ഥാന വ്യത്യാസം അതാണ്.

ഒരു വികേന്ദ്രീകൃത ശൃംഖല, അതിനർത്ഥം എല്ലാ ശക്തിയും ഉള്ള ഒരു കേന്ദ്ര ഗ്രൂപ്പില്ല.

ഇവിടെ ഇത് ആണ്


വൈവിദ്യങ്ങളുടെ വൈവിദ്യം

@jamewils Also encourage people to use tags for all important threads, otherwise it will be difficult to search them later. Because mastodon excludes toots which we haven't involved in search results

@jamewils Great post. I have posted link to this thread on my FB page

@jamewils hey james . what if do not sign up for any instance , so what will be my default instance .. this will limit me to a small reach ?

@jamewils Thank you! This post really helps explain things. I signed up for several different instances thinking I needed that to navigate, but this helped me realize that is not necessary. Time to do some account cleanup!

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