Web browser maker Vivaldi today announced its Mastodon instance, Vivaldi Social, as an open alternative to Twitter, the dying social network.
“Mastodon is a federated social network alternative to those networks controlled by large corporations,” Vivaldi’s Jon von Tetzchner explains. “Instead of ‘lock-in,’ algorithms, and user-unfriendly ideas and solutions, it’s an open network of communities committed to a better way of communicating online and allowing for constant improvements. It feels like the Internet again, an information superhighway, not a toll road.”
Like other Mastodon instances, Vivaldi Social is part of what’s now called the “Fediverse” (“federated” plus “universe”), an interconnected and decentralized network of independent servers that are based on open standards. It is like the Internet itself but applied specifically to social networking. And so it doesn’t matter if you join Vivaldi Social or any other Mastodon-based service: each communicates with the other and you’re not locked into any one service.
As with Twitter and other “dead service walking” social networks, you can post, follow other people and organizations, and favorite and boost posts from other users. There is no targeted advertising, and posts appear in reverse chronological order.
“We love the idea of a distributed social network based on open standards with no owner, no surveillance capitalism, and no tracking or profiling of users,” von Tetzchner adds. “With no system promoting posts based on their popularity or virality, or whether someone paid to promote them. And, by joining the Fediverse, we want to help it thrive by making it easier for people to join – and by providing additional server capacity to take the strain off overloaded instances.”
Vivaldi Social is, of course, free. It’s based in Iceland and is compliant with EU privacy regulations. Those with Vivaldi accounts can sign in directly, and those without can get a free account. You can join Vivaldi Social on the web.