Is Mastodon Social Media's New Kid on The Block?
By Pira Kumarasamy
Digital media giant Mashable recently posted a piece that proclaimed: Later, Twitter. All the cool kids are heading to Mastodon. It’s a bold assertion, but is it accurate?
To answer this question, we take a closer look at Mastodon, the most recent player in the social media space. This platform is making the most tech savvy social media users think twice about using Twitter as an outlet for all of their 140-character-or-less contemplations.
What is it?
Mastodon is a social network started by a 24-year-old German named Eugene Rochko. It’s similar to Twitter, as users can post their thoughts online in real time but here are some important differences to note:
-Users have 500 characters to “toot,” (the Mastodon version of tweets), compared to the 140 allotted by Twitter.
-There are different servers which users can inhabit based on their interests.
-Users can communicate with one another through these servers, or via individual toots which can also be either private or public. Each server is moderated in varying degrees. A key difference between the two platforms.
-Mastodon enforces strict guidelines and the option to make toots private provides a little bit more flexibility than Twitter, where you must make the choice between having an entirely public profile and an entirely private profile.
Why should you use it?
To network, what else?
Growth potential. With only around 42,000 users Mastodon is still within a niche of social media. If it continues to grow at the pace it has been growing, it has the potential to become a networking powerhouse.
Connection with brands. Big retail brands seem to be on-board providing a unique way to connect and network. Joining different servers based on your interest areas has the potential to help you reach new contacts and extend your network even further.
Cultivated environment. The use of moderators can help weed out ‘trolls’ – the people that deliberately provoke other users in cyberspace. Mastodon is tackling harassment and working to build an inclusive community with its strict ban on racism, sexism and xenophobia. As a result, users have a safe space to connect with new people.
Overall, Mastodon has the potential to provide and become a unique alternative to Twitter, but to pit it against Twitter is still a stretch. However, there’s something exciting about joining a rapidly growing platform in its early stages. Perhaps it’s that feeling of ‘I knew it way back when…’
Building your network is one of the most important aspects of the job hunt, so you really have nothing to lose by trying different avenues to meet new people, and social media has made that path easier than ever. You never know where a new connection will lead.