Last week we set up our own Mastodon instance and created a home for Rest of World on the platform. We want to be where our audience is, and Mastodon has seen a spike in new users. Platform migration is nothing new, but we think this move is different and it has our attention.

You can find (and follow) us at

Our primary goal is always to have a presence to serve our existing readers, and to reach new audiences interested in global tech. Behind that we are in the early stage of a little experiment. But before we get into that, it’s worth taking a moment to cover what exactly Mastodon is.

Mastodon is an open-source decentralized social media platform. You could compare it to Twitter or early Facebook, but without ads, and you have control over your content. You can create your own instance of Mastodon or join one of the many community-based instances. Instances are nodes in a larger connected network with at least 1.9M active monthly users across 6.1K servers (as of Nov 16th). Like Twitter you can follow, reply, and interact in a similar manner with other people across the larger network.

There are also some stark differences to how Mastodon works from traditional social networks. For new users, setting up a Mastodon account presents hurdles. There are questions on what community to join, or the complexities of self-hosting. The influx of new users has had some servers struggle to manage. Even searching for and following other accounts can take some getting used to.

So we thought, “Why not set up our own instance and invite others to be a part of it?” In addition to having our own official account (where we’ll be posting occasionally to start and seeing what works best), we are also looking to provide a community of sorts on Mastodon.

Starting with our own staff and close colleagues of Rest of World, and eventually expanding to include others in media and technology, we’re going to invite folks to sign up for Mastodon though our own instance,

The details on how that will work for those outside the organization are still being discussed and will be shared later. Stay tuned.