After Elon Musk took over Twitter, one of the alternatives to the social media website that users flocked to was Mastodon. It's a decentralized network where people can choose from multiple servers or "instances," with each one being independently operated. At the moment, there are 12,000-plus instances people can choose from, and the Mastodon team has realized that picking one could be overwhelming for casual users. As a result, the service has rolled out a new onboarding process that makes one of the instances it operates, mastodon.social, a default sign-up option.
New users can still choose from any of the available servers upon signing up, but mastodon.social now gets a special button that makes creating account much easier, as The Verge notes. Those who choose to start on the service with mastodon.social can still leave it and join another instance later on. The Mastodon team reiterated that decentralization is "at the forefront of [their] mission." They explained, however, that if the service only attracts "people who already care about decentralization," then its "ability to make decentralization mainstream becomes that much harder." By helping new users quickly get past the hurdle of choosing an instance, Mastodon believes it could better showcase what decentralized social networks can offer.
In addition to announcing its new onboarding process, Mastodon has revealed that it has just surpassed a billion posts per month. It also listed some of its newer features, including the ability to quote posts and its improved content and profile search. Plus, Mastodon mentioned its continuing work to improve content and profile discovery, which could help drum up conversations on the service, to refine its moderation tools and to remove friction from its decentralized service.