People have been talking about the various types of #Federated applications that may or may not work better for journalists over the need to #QuoteToot (and #QuoteTweet if you prefer) another’s message and simultaneously leave a comment. This got me thinking about the different types of Fediverse apps and what makes them better or worse than others.
The big daddy of the block and currently most well known of the Fediverse Apps, #Mastodon is also the most like Twitter in regard to use and userbase. Not surprising as most of the users fled Twitter after Elon ran it to the ground.
Mastodon has a 500 character limit for native viewing, and allows for stand-alone messages (called Toots), replies, boosts (the equivalent of Retweets), Favoriting, and Sharing. You can follow other user accounts or hashtag topics. And it has a number of mobile apps that work on Android and Apple devices.
All in all, it is the easiest to get set up with, if you operate mostly on your phone.
#Misskey is a longer form service, allowing up to 3000 characters per post. The primary instance and of the service is based in Japan, which requires Western audiences to translate the information. While no one is barred from the service based solely on their chosen language, and English is an option, it is very Japanese and Anime centered. This can be good or bad, as it means there is a lot of use of notes and emojis. They do have handy setup guides if you want to join an instance or start one of your own.
#Calckey is a fork of Misskey, and has many similar features, but it is decidedly more centered on a Western audience, with a cleaner design.
Features that set Calckey apart from Mastodon include the longer post length, the ability to natively quote tweet, additional reactions than simply Favoriting, and the ability to create a kind of miniforum, called a Channel.
A very major downside is that mobile apps are limited. Misskey has an Android app called Milktea and Clickey has no major apps available. It is Web only.
While there are additional options available, #Pleroma is probably the last of the major ones that need mentioning here. Pleroma is a much more fragmented network, with each instance imposing its own set of rules on what can and cannot be performed on the service.
Up to 5000 characters can be used for posts on Pleroma, with the more basic features of replying, favoriting, and sharing, and no Quoting.
Which Should I Pick?
The answer to that question is going to be solely up to you. The best thing about the Fediverse is that most of these instances, regardless of the version you pick will be able to link with any other, with only some exceptions. Those exceptions are usually because enough of the instance admins find another one toxic. Prominent examples include Gab and Truth Social, which were both based on similar technologies, but are not Federated.
You are reading this post, which is way longer than might normally be allowed, because of Federation. #ActivityPub allows for blog posts like this one to be seen natively on services like Mastodon. So, if you feel that Misskey is better than Mastodon, you do not have to lose your friends, your followers, or your audience. You do you.
But I’m already on one service, how do I change?
If you are changing from one Mastodon server to another, all you need to do is change the host in your settings. Directions can be found here. If you switch to another service not on Mastodon, you may have to start your audience over, but you can follow the new account on the old one and share your Calckey posts on Mastodon, until you start getting an audience there. But you can follow all your old friends and followers to fast track that.
If I got any information wrong or missed out on something major, I apologize and welcome comments and replies to correct or elaborate