Mastodon has been one of the best alternatives to corporate social networks over the past few years, with its decentralized design and open protocols. The platform released its own app for iOS last year, and now there’s an Android app available on the Google Play Store.
Mastodon is a social network with an estimated user base of 4.4 million people and a similar design as Twitter. The back end works a bit like email: anyone who signs up on one community (server) can follow and talk to anyone on any other community, just like someone with a Gmail account can send messages to a Yahoo email, and vice-versa. There’s no centralized database or platform collecting data, and no algorithmic timelines. The protocol powering everything, ActivityPub, is open-source and has been implemented by other social networks. For example, Mastodon users can follow people on PixelFed, an Instagram alternative that supports ActivityPub.
Because Mastodon is decentralized, rules can differ between instances, you should take the time to choose one that fits closest with your own values. I post identical content to both Twitter (831 followers) and Mastodon (718 followers), and certainly the engagement I get on Mastodon is way higher than on Twitter. It seems that Twitter has such a fire-hose of adverts, promoted tweets, etc that it buries posts from those who you really choose to follow.
It is also worth exploring some of the 3rd party Mastodon apps (both Android and iOS), as they often contain some extra features you may find appealing.
See Twitter alternative Mastodon now has an official Android app
Mastodon, the federated social media platform with no algorithms, has released an official Android app after the iOS app arrived last year.