As Twitter stumbles, Mastodon launches improved Android app

Kerem Gülen
Jul 4, 2023

In the wake of Twitter's controversial move to limit tweet visibility and introduce breaking changes to TweetDeck, Mastodon, an open-source Twitter alternative, is making headlines with a significant refresh of its Android app. Released over the weekend, this update manifests a full-scale adaptation of Material You — Google’s design language for Android — and an overhaul of several features including tab bars, settings, and the compose screen.

Mastodon's Founder and CEO, Eugen Rochko, heralded the update on the Mastodon blog. The social networking platform, encompassing mobile apps, web version, and third-party clients, now boasts an active user base of 1.4 million monthly active users, as per the company’s internal data. Notably, this represents a 19% uptick, albeit lower than the platform's peak user engagement following Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, which had sparked 2.5 million monthly users.

Rochko recently shared that Mastodon's active users surged by 294,000 over the weekend, with posting activity nearly tripling, potentially triggered by Twitter's ongoing issues.

Mastodon's new Android app brings a cornucopia of customization options in the revamped settings screen. Users can modify the default posting language, add alternative text to media uploads, and even control visibility of the "boost" and "favorite" counters — Mastodon's equivalent of Twitter's retweet feature. Android users can now also access server-specific information and its associated rules — a crucial aspect of Mastodon's decentralized social networking infrastructure, where each federated server maintains its unique moderation guidelines.

Image courtesy of Mastodon

The update breathes new life into the user profile section of the Android app, introducing featured content previously absent from the app, including pinned posts, featured hashtags, and endorsed users. An additional feature now enables users to filter content using keyword-based filters and customize the application of these filters. Furthermore, users can mute notifications temporarily, creating periods of digital respite.

Mastodon has also altered the way it handles user verifications. Instead of adopting the conventional "blue badge," users can self-verify by interlinking their websites and Mastodon profiles. This methodology aims to corroborate a user's broader identity across the web. Verified profiles are now more readily visible in search results, thereby addressing user complaints about the difficulty of finding notable Mastodon profiles.

Where to download Mastodon?

Android users can access the updated app via Google Play Store. However, alternatives such as Tusky, Megalodon, Fedilab, Tooot, among others, are also available. Conversely, iOS users enjoy a broader selection including Woolly, Mammoth, Radiant, and Ivory — all products of the Twitter exodus post Musk’s acquisition and consequential API changes that essentially terminated Twitter apps. Given the scarcity of third-party options for Android, the recent update to Mastodon’s official mobile app assumes greater significance for the Android user base compared to its impact on iOS.

While Twitter faces turbulence, Mastodon's rejuvenated Android app may just be a sign that the open-source platform is ready to claim its place in the social media sphere, striking a chord with users who appreciate privacy, transparency, and customization.

Read also: Twitter makes TweetDeck more exclusive


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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments ( Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [] and it appears there but as well here at []

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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