Though that offers people freedom and flexibility, it also makes the sign-up process clumsy and confusing. Now, Mastodon's sign-up page offers a clearer choice of picking its default server of Mastodon.social or a specialized server based on different topics.
If you're not sure which server to pick, going with the default one is always a good option. But selecting a different server takes you to a page where you can choose one based on the various topics, including technology, gaming, LGBTQ+, music, art, books, and food. You can also join more than one server to explore different interests.
After you sign up, Mastodon takes you through the steps to personalize your account, choose people to follow, create your first post, and share your profile outside of the network.
Thanks to Mastodon's hand-holding, new users should feel more at home and more comfortable getting started.
The Mastodon interfaces on the website and the mobile apps for iOS/iPadOS and Android are better designed. You can more easily navigate the screens to find accounts to follow, read and create posts, view notifications, follow live feeds, and further tweak your own account. The website boasts a number of changes. Article previews in a post look better, while image previews are no longer cropped.
Next on the list of enhancements is the search tool. Completely redesigned, the search tool now offers more options. Clicking the search field displays a list of quick actions, so you can choose to look for posts, profiles, and hashtags. The ability to search for posts is a new and likely much-requested feature that should satisfy most users. Your recent searches also appear for quick access.
Mastodon has fixed the snafus that occur when you log out of your chosen server. In many cases, following a shared link in a post takes you to a different server or website where you can run into trouble trying to perform certain actions under your account.
Previously, Mastodon offered instructions on how to get back to your own server, but even the company acknowledged that those instructions could be confusing. Now, you simply have to start typing the domain of your default server, which then redirects you to your home base.
The upgrades are already available on the default server of Mastodon.social. Other servers will take on the new and improved features as the individual server operators perform the upgrade.