What is Debirdify? How it helps Twitter users move to Mastodon

Rachael Grealish November 18, 2022
What is Debirdify? How it helps Twitter users move to Mastodon
Photo by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

After Twitter announced it would close its offices worried users have been moving to sites such as Mastodon and Fedifinder – and many are using Debirdify to do it.

Reuters reports Elon Musk gave employees of his recently acquired company an ultimatum that they must sign up for “long hours at high intensity” or walk away.

The SpaceX owner officially took over the company on October 27, 2022, making him the richest man in the world. However, some users have become worried about the company’s future look.

ANKARA, TURKIYE – OCTOBER 06: In this photo illustration, Elon Musk’s twitter profile is displayed on a mobile phone and the image of him is seen on a computer screen on back of it in Ankara, Turkiye on October 06, 2022. Muhammed Selim Korkutata / Anadolu Agency

Users worry as Twitter offices close

Twitter told employees all the company’s offices would close, effective immediately, the BBC reports, but would reopen on Monday, November 21.

The Twitter email to staff reportedly stated: “Please continue to comply with company policy by refraining from discussing confidential company information on social media, with the press or elsewhere.”

It has been reported an alleged ultimatum to staff that they needed to be “extremely hardcore” had resulted in “large numbers” of employees handing in their notice.

Some Twitter users are turning to Mastodon

Due to uncertainty surrounding the company, some Twitter users have been looking for alternatives, one being Mastodon. Celebs such as Sue Perkins have said they’re considering a move:

Mastodon was founded by German software developer Eugen Rochko in 2016. Unlike Twitter, Mastodon is registered as a non-profit platform, meaning there are no shareholders.

Mastodon isn’t a single platform either. The platform is based on Rochko’s open-source software, which means interconnected Mastodon servers – and servers that can “talk” to Mastodon servers – are collectively dubbed the “Fediverse.”

Each server is also governed by rules set by the people who operate it.

How to use Debirdify to move from Twitter to Mastodon

Moving to a new social media platform is one thing, transferring all those hard-earned contacts is another. To carry that out, many movers are turning to Debirdify.

If you’re wondering what Debirdify is, we’ve got you covered. Basically, it’s a web app that helps you find out which of the people you follow on Twitter are on Mastodon/in the Fediverse already and allows you to follow them all easily.

Debirdify uses the Twitter API to search through profile information (display name, bio, website, pinned tweet) for things that look like Fediverse account names.

SPAIN – 2022/11/07: In this photo illustration, Mastodon homepage is seen displayed on a mobile phone screen held by hand. It has been reported that more than 200.000 new users flocked the social media app after the takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk. (Photo Illustration by Davide Bonaldo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

To use Debirdify, a Twitter user must visit the transfer website. You must be logged into Twitter. Once you’re there click on the purple button labeled “authorize with Twitter.”

This takes you to Twitter and asks whether you want to authorize the app. Once authorized – and you can revoke access at any time – you are taken back to Debirdify where you can choose to retrieve lists of your followers, followed accounts, blocked accounts and muted accounts. Then transfer them over to your Fediverse and search for your followers there.

Fedifinder also helps Twitter users make the move

In a similar way to Debirdify, Fedifinder helps extract the fediverse handles of your Twitter followings or list members and import them on to Mastodon so you can follow them all at once.

To use Fedifinder visit the website – or if it’s being slowed Fedifinder Backup or Fedifinder Backup 2 – and click the “authorize to extract handles” button. As long as you’re logged into Twitter it works in a similar way to Debirdify.

Twitodon is another option, but it needs you and your followers to be signed up there to match you.

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Rachael is the Senior Content Editor at Freshered. She is NCTJ qualified with an MA in journalism. Rachael has almost ten years experience as a journalist in regional, national and international press and is passionate about creating engaging content.