Do you love Twitter but hate the 140 character limit, myriad of adverts, racist and sexist chatter, and the fact messages no longer show in chronological order? Then perhaps you'll be interested in Mastodon — a new alternative that already boasts over 40,000 users.
Mastodon was founded by Eugene Rochko, a 24-year-old German who had become pissed off at what he perceived to be the "Facebookification" of Twitter. Deviating from the modern day trend of moaning about something online but doing nothing practical whatsoever about it, Rochko sought funding via Patreon and created the website using open-source software.
As well as a strict anti neo-Nazi policy, the Mastodon rules also prohibit "racism or advocation of racism," "sexism or advocation of sexism," "discrimination against gender and sexual minorities, or advocation thereof," and "xenophobic and/or violent nationalism." Advertising of any kind is also banned.
But it's not just the rule book that is appealing to users. "Toots" on the platform are limited to not 140, but 500 characters, and can be signed off with a disclaimer or even made private. Like Twitter of old, tweets are shown in chronological order, rather than algorithmically.
Sadly, sign-up numbers have spiked to the point where registrations have been closed "until quality of service can be assured for existing users." If the public counter on Mastodon's about page is correct, the network has grown by an insane 73 percent in two days.
Of course, nothing is perfect, and already conglomerate brands are moving in for a slice of the pie. Even worse is the fact that, yes, Mastodon is named after that heavy metal band from Atlanta, Georgia.
Are you a member of the website? Let us know your user experience so far in the comments below.
Now, take a look at Apple's nearly complete "Spaceship" campus.