It goes without saying that I’m a huge advocate for federated social media. I recently joined Mastodon (my profile) and I love it! As I mentioned in my previous post, the Fediverse is really starting to take off in 2023 ever since the downward turn of Twitter. People have been migrating in masses to alternative microblogging sites such as Mastodon.
While there is no doubt that Mastodon is one of the most popular federated social media platform out there, it’s worth pointing out there are others which are just as popular and are better suited for your needs (e.g. microblogging, image sharing and video hosting)
This blog post covers some of the most popular federated alternatives to centralised social media platforms and where you can go to get started.
Alternatives to Twitter
As mentioned before, Mastodon is one of the most popular microblogging platforms of choice due to its popularity and widespread support among the community. In contrast to Twitter, my favourite Mastodon features include 500-chapters long posts known as “toots”, being able to follow hashtags, no ads and no new feed algorithms. Some of the most popular Mastodon instances include mastodon.social, mastodonapp.uk and mstdn.social.
Pleroma is described as a “lightweight fediverse server” similar to Mastodon. Much like Mastodon, Pleroma is free and open meaning anyone can deploy their own server which is connected to the wider fediverse. Pleroma is easily customisable by allowing you to adjust the instance according to your needs. For example, users can apply different frontends to their instance making Pleroma “suit all kinds of user preferences”.
Alternatives to Instragram
For those of you who would prefer to post pictures and images over text, why not try PixelFed? Much like Instagram, PixelFed allows users to create albums, apply filters and produce stories (videos which disappears after 24 hours). Being part of the Fediverse, anyone (regardless of platform) can access and view posts from their instance although some features (like stories) may not work as intended.
Alternatives to YouTube
PeerTube is ideal if you’re interested in hosting and publishing videos regularly. PeerTube acts as your own self-hosted YouTube channel which others can join and subscribe to their content. Their website describes PeerTube as a “homemade YouTube” for creating a network of “multiple small interconnected video hosting providers”.
One of the best parts of the Fediverse is that all the platforms mentioned in this post can cooperate and communicate with each other via the ActivityPub protocol. Unlike centralised platforms, federated platforms do not rely on news feed algorithm, ads, tracking or obscure moderation policies.