After Apple has delisted the Tumblr app from its store citing a large amount of adult content on the site, artists and other creators are reporting having their blogs deleted, and are now looking for alternatives. Before choosing another commercial solution like Twitter, let me outline why Mastodon is the better choice:
1. Mastodon has a flexible approach to adult content. Unlike Tumblr and Twitter, your entire account isn’t either safe-for-work or not-safe-for-work. Each individual post can be marked as not-safe-for-work, with the media attachments conveniently hidden behind a spoiler until you choose to view them. You as a viewer can, of course, opt in to skip the spoilers automatically. Bonus round: You don’t need to be logged in to view sensitive content.
2. Artists have more control over how their art is displayed. Different screens and apps may show thumbnails in varying sizes, so to ensure that the thumbnails make sense and show the most appealing parts of the picture, you can set a focal point on each uploaded image. No more unfortunate crotch thumbnails! The thumbnails also have a lot less quality loss compared to e.g. Twitter.
3. Mastodon offers extensive customization options for your profile. Along with the expected custom display name, avatar, header image and “about me” text, you can set up to 5 featured posts at the top, and up to 4 custom link or text blurbs. For example, a link to your Patreon, your commission status and your preferred pronouns. But that’s not all – you can promote your friends or accounts you’re a fan of by endorsing them so they are featured on your profile in a random rotation.
4. Mastodon is decentralized. Why does this matter? Because if you host your own Mastodon server (as you easily can, it’s open source and there’s even hosting providers specifically for it!), literally nobody except yourself has control over your posts. No more getting deleted off Tumblr. Of course, not everybody is interested in running their own server, but it still matters – you can use a server that somebody you personally know runs, or that a community that you trust runs.
5. Mastodon is not commercial. It doesn’t track your every move. It doesn’t interrupt your home feed with ads and promoted posts. It’s just you, and people you choose to follow. Because of its decentralized nature, individual servers are smaller and cheaper than Twitter or Tumblr as a whole, and can be maintained with earnest crowdfunding rather than advertising/marketing schemes.
And last but not least, Mastodon is big, and getting larger, approaching an audience of 2 million users spread over 2,000 servers. If that sounds convincing to you, navigate to the server picker and select the “I am an adult content creator” option to see a list of servers you could sign up on.