Vivaldi backs Mastodon to free social networks from Big Tech

Vivaldi browser is backing Mastodon to release online communications from Big Tech’s stranglehold.

The Oslo-based company today became the first browser to integrate Mastodon — just weeks after launching its own server on the federated social network.

The moves aim to accelerate the uptake of Mastodon, while attracting more users to Vivaldi’s privacy-focused browser. They arrive amid a backlash against Silicon Valley’s closed platforms and lock-in algorithms, which spread deeper into the mainstream after Elon Musk bought Twitter. 

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Since the world’s richest person took over the bird app, Mastodon’s active user base has soared from 300,000 to 2.6 million — a growth that’s been tricky to accommodate. 

The sudden influx has overloaded many servers (known as instances) on the federated social network, forcing them offline and overwhelming the volunteers who maintain them. Vivaldi’s instance has the capacity to alleviate some of the strain.

“We wanted to lend a hand.

Jon von Tetzchner, the co-founder of both Vivaldi and the Opera browser, told TNW that the plans were first mooted over five years ago.

“​​To be frank, we should have joined then, but when we saw the rush of users over to Mastodon and we saw some of the servers struggling, we wanted to lend a hand,” he said.

Von Tetzchner also hopes to lower the barriers to entering Mastodon.

Vivaldi’s sidebar now integrates Vivaldi Social, a Mastodon instance.