December 11, 2023
Mozilla-backed Mammoth wants to lure social media users to the fediverse, presenting its latest iteration, Mammoth 2, as “the easiest way to quit Twitter/X for good and join Mastodon.” Having added a “For You” feed earlier this year, Mammoth 2 now debuts on the iPhone, iPad and Mac, delving deeper into news and curation. New “Smart Lists” are filled with recommended posts, suggested connections and accounts to follow. The future of social “is being built today on ActivityPub and Mastodon,” Mammoth’s creators claim, calling for “an open protocol anybody can build on,” as with “email or the open web.”
“We believe this will happen in 2024 and all of our work is to bring about this open future faster,” Mammoth co-founder Bart Decrem writes in a blog post heralding 2024 as “the year even more people log off Twitter for good in search of smaller, healthier spaces where they can have authentic online conversations — Threads, Bluesky and especially Mastodon.”
TechCrunch calls it “a more consumer-friendly entry point to the world of decentralized social media,” writing that Decrem predicts 2024 will mark a turning point for decentralized social media, largely due to Meta Platforms’ Instagram Threads, which “has pledged to support the ActivityPub protocol that powers the Mastodon network and other ‘federated’ social apps.”
“I suspect that ActivityPub is really going to happen in the first half of 2024,” Decrem adds, pointing to regulatory pressure and growing user frustration with Twitter/X as reasons that Mastodon’s reach will advance.
“Mammoth won some fans earlier this year with a really nicely designed Mastodon client,” writes The Verge, welcoming the updates in vesion 2, calling Smart Lists “a lot like what Twitter lists used to be: users curate groups of people by topic or interest or whatever else, and others can subscribe to those lists.”
Mammoth already has several dozen such curated categories. After a few days of beta testing 2, The Verge says “the lists are handy, if not exactly earth-shattering. Most lists are filled with websites and well-known posters, so they’re more like a starting point.”
Mammoth is open-source, and version 2 free to use, but users are invited to pay $3 a month (discounted to $20 a year) for extras, including premium icons, early access and input in Mammoth’s development. “Mostly Decrem hopes it’s a way to support the stuff you like,” The Verge writes, quoting him saying “the superpower of Mastodon and the fediverse is that it’s a community.”