How Tools/Apps Can Shape Your Experience


When I joined Mastodon in 2018, I liked the concept and am always excited and curious to try new things. But like others described already, it somehow did not feel right. Maybe I wasn’t ready for the concept, maybe I was comparing it too much with Twitter – I don’t know. In the end it was something it did not bother to communicate through too much.

A couple of months ago, yes I think Musk has played a role here, Twitter, which somehow lost more and more attraction for me anyways, but the reason why would bee another blog post, Mastodon gained traction again and people started registering and – which is the more important part – using it. it felt different, but still I was asking myself a lot of questions and was sceptical. I tried different apps, Mastodon in the browser, but I wasn’t getting the “Yes, let’s go with it” moment. I did not feel it ;) I was using Mastodon, reading what other people said and also posting myself.

A couple of days ago, when I opened Tweetbot, I got an authentication error message telling me, I need to log in again. On my phone and my Mac. I checked the web if something was not working with in general, but Twitter seemed to be up and running. Just the apps I was using weren’t working anymore. It turned out that Twitterrific users had the same problem and actually any 3rd party app using the Twitter API. No one had information and an update on the Twitterrific blog stated:

Updated January 17th, 2023: We still have not received any clear communication as to why Twitter deactivated Twitterrific on January 13th. We have been respectful of their API rules, as published, for the past 16 years. We have no knowledge that these rules have changed recently or what those changes might be.

On the same day, Twitter stated, that they were intentionally blocking 3rd party apps like Echofon, Tweetbot and Twitterrific and wrote that Twitter is “enforcing its long-standing API rules” and that this “may result in some apps not working” on Twitter … well … that’s it with any 3rd party app.

Tapbots reacted and quickly used their knowledge (and party of the code base?) for their new app Ivory, which is an app for Mastodon and which was released in an early state yesterday (for anyone who wants to read a review about that version, here is a nice and complete one by Federico Viticci on MacStories)

Now, why am I writing all this and started with my feeling and experience of using Mastodon? Actually I can quote a Mastodon post of Marco Arment from yesterday, as it exactly expresses how I felt and how I feel about the release of Ivory:

Before @ivory, Mastodon felt like a Twitter clone that I wasn’t really “getting”, bouncing between apps and not finding any that fit me.
With Ivory, Mastodon became not only a drop-in replacement for Twitter for me, but an upgrade that’s actually so much better than Twitter that I don’t think about it at all anymore.