Published on October 30, 2023, 9:02 pm
Image source: Fox News
Mastodon, the open source and decentralized alternative to Twitter, is introducing a new feature to its app that aims to improve the experience for newcomers: Lists. In an announcement made today, Mastodon revealed that its Android app will now include the much-anticipated feature, allowing users to create customized lists based on specific topics or interests. While an update for iOS is expected in the future, the company has not provided a specific timeline.
Prior to this addition, Mastodon users could only access the Lists feature through the web interface. This made it challenging to stay updated on various topics, especially compared to Twitter’s rebranded platform, X. Furthermore, managing lists on Mastodon’s web interface was more complex as users could only add or remove people from lists by editing the list itself or from their user profile. It’s worth mentioning that these actions were only possible if both users were on the same server or “instance” in Mastodon terminology.
To address this limitation on mobile devices, third-party apps developed by indie developers and small startups have stepped in. For instance, apps such as Tusky, Metatext, Ivory, and Mammoth now provide elegant solutions for creating and managing lists on mobile devices. However, until now, Mastodon did not offer native access to lists via its official mobile app. Fortunately, with the hiring of additional developers last year, mobile development at Mastodon has accelerated. As a result, they are catching up with Twitter/X in terms of features.
In today’s announcement of the new release featuring Lists, Mastodon highlights that lists go beyond curating topics based on individual interests – they also serve as a way to declutter home feeds by limiting certain accounts to specific lists where users can engage with them “on their own terms.” This feature is particularly useful when it comes to tracking subjects or interests occasionally without being bombarded with updates every time you log in.
Mastodon suggests that more features are in the works for iOS and the web. However, no specific information is provided regarding the availability of Lists on Mastodon’s mobile app via the App Store.
As users search for alternative platforms due to dissatisfaction with X, Mastodon has gained traction as a potential option. Changes made to Twitter, formerly known as X under Elon Musk’s ownership, led to an increase in interest for Mastodon. Nevertheless, it is not the only platform benefiting from this chaos at X. Other alternatives like Meta’s Instagram Threads and Bluesky – a decentralized social networking protocol spun out from Twitter during Jack Dorsey’s reign – have also experienced growth.
While some startups struggled to thrive, Mastodon managed to maintain its presence with approximately 1.7 million active monthly users as of this month. In fact, earlier in October, the company discovered that it had more users than previously estimated due to a network connectivity error that caused an undercount of its user base. Upon rectifying this issue, Mastodon gained an additional 2.34 million registered users across 727 previously uncounted servers.
Despite being a relatively small nonprofit organization funded by donations, Patreon subscriptions, government grants, and merchandise sales; Mastodon has successfully attracted publishers, creators, and users since Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter. Additionally, it has formed integrations with other publishing startups such as Flipboard and Medium.
Original article posted by Fox News