Tough to do better than this article title “Do Not Use Services That Hate The Internet”:
If posts in a social media app do not have URLs that can be linked to and viewed in an unauthenticated browser, or if there is no way to make a new post from a browser, then that program is not a part of the World Wide Web in any meaningful way.
The web does not always have the prettiest solution. Native mobile apps are usually easier on the eyes, quicker to work with, and provide a more connected experience. But! Services and networks that are not open also come at a cost: high prices, lock in, lack of transparency and data portability.
Once a platform owns your data and your attention, and there’s a profit motive…they’re going to twist those screws someday.
There is a long history of these data silos (and very specifically Facebook, Google and Twitter) being interoperable, federating, providing APIs and allowing others to build alternate interfaces – until they don’t. They keep up that charade while they are small and growing, and drop it as soon as they think they can get away with it, locking you inside.
Some nascent and soon to be excellent Mastodon apps have been taking off in the past few weeks. See this previous post for the ones I’m enjoying.
A good mobile app client for an open web service can make a world of difference. An ecosystem of these sorts of apps are beginning to spring up around Mastodon. If any of these apps betrays user trust or gives people a reason to move on, they can simply download a different app and vote with their feet. The underlying protocol of Mastodon (via ActivityPub) allows for this.
Kinda like email, an open protocol that we still use today on our mobiles phones, enabled by apps. I imagine very few people still use email, as it was originally incarnated, accessed from the command line or terminal emulator. Protocols carry on into the future; closed ecosystems do not. The open nature of a protocol is what allows an ecosystem of apps and services to grow up around it, and gives it the power to outlive those closed off alternatives.
Another debate I had forgotten about recently, but linked in this piece, is about the Real Name Policy wars.