If you’re a Twitter user (and even if you’re not) you may be aware that it was recently acquired by one Elon Musk. You may also be aware that he’s gone on a cost cutting rampage that has left people concerned for the future of the platform as mass layoffs and publicised technical changes have resulted in broken functionality or massive shareholder losses.
There is a Twitter alternative, just one amongst many, called Mastodon. It’s a part of something called the Fediverse; which is a silly word that fundamentally groups a large number of applications around something called the ActivityPub protocol. In brief it’s a well defined method for clients and servers to talk to each other about people and what they’re doing. Which is why, over the last few weeks, Mastodon servers (or instances) have seen a massive spike in new user accounts and usage. People are migrating and instance owners have been scrambling to scale up their infrastructure to cope.