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Vivaldi has become the first company to build support for Mastodon directly into a web browser.

The browser company has thrown its weight behind the Twitter alternative. Last month, Vivaldi launched its own Mastodon instance, providing a reliable server while many struggled under the weight of traffic, following the exodus of Twitter users prompted by Elon Musk’s takeover of the social media service.

At that time, Vivaldi CEO Jon von Tetzchner suggested the company could build Mastodon support into the browser, saying it would be “relatively simple to put a Mastodon client in the browser”.

Less than a month later, the company has made good on his word. Mastodon is now one of the browser’s Web Panels, allowing users to keep an eye on the social network in a pane that runs down the side of the browser.

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Users could already create their own Mastodon Web Panel, but the built-in support makes it more visible to Vivaldi browser users, who will see the Mastodon logo appear on the left-hand side of the browser window, alongside other panels for the browser’s mail client, calendar, RSS reader and other features.

Growing support

Vivaldi is keen to stress that it’s not trying to foist users towards its own Mastodon instance. Users can sign into any instance from the Web Panel, although Vivaldi account users who are new to Mastodon can simply log in to the Vivaldi instance with their existing login details.

Vivaldi has added around 11,000 people to its own Mastodon instance since it went live in mid-November.

Mastodon has become the most popular alternative to Twitter and has seen a sharp increase in users since Musk’s Twitter takeover. Unlike Twitter, Mastodon is a federated service made up of lots of smaller instances, rather than one centrally-operated service controlled by a single company.

Vivaldi, for instance, has its own moderation team working on its Mastodon instance to help ensure that its users aren’t subject to spam or other abuse.

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