Parents' Guide to


By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

User-run network less commercial, a bit confusing, mature.

Toot! Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

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Privacy Rating Warning

  • Unclear whether personal information is sold or rented to third parties.
  • Unclear whether personal information are shared for third-party marketing.
  • Unclear whether this product displays personalised advertising.
  • Unclear whether data are collected by third-parties for their own purposes.
  • Unclear whether this product uses a user's information to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
  • Unclear whether this product creates and uses data profiles for personalised advertisements.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

While refreshingly free of ads and lite on usual social media nastiness, this network is still best for teens and has a learning curve. Both Mastodon and Toot! try to initiate new users with a YouTube video describing the service, and while this helps convey the developer's philosophy and Mastodon's overall service model, it falls short of walking new users through the process of using the app. That's bad, because the app's three-column interface will feel alien to most social media users, and it's unclear at the start why you can't immediately start posting. Furthermore, once you realize you have to select an Instance before you can post, you're faced with yet another obstacle: having to request access to that Instance before you can post. Worst of all, the app's synchronicity with the Mastodon service is flawed and can often trap you in a frustrating loop of repeated registration submissions and email verifications.

If you want to skip all that nonsense, you can create your own Instance. The problem with that is, you have to be fairly Internet savvy. If not, the tools and instructions Toot! provides will read like a foreign language. They also support (and even encourage) users to create “bot” accounts, the sorts of accounts featured negatively in the news lately as having interfered with the 2016 Presidential election.

Whether you join someone else's instance or create your own, (you can join as many as you like) you'll enjoy custom posting tools that let you determine privacy settings and set warnings to users about sensitive content or content that's NSFW. (This is useful when deciding to limit your posts to one specific Instance or allow users in all Instances to see them.) Better still, you can control your experience even further by blocking users, manually approving followers, and importing block lists from Instance to Instance. As intimidating as all this Instance talk might be, a benefit even the newest social media user can understand is Toot!'s chronological timeline. Posts are displayed in the order they're made, not in some mysterious order designed to serve advertisers. In the end, that alone is reason enough for Toot! to outstrip Facebook for users over seventeen. For anyone younger than that, the app's mature content, flawed functionality, and complex Instance creation take Toot! out of the running.

App Details

  • Devices: iPhone , iPod Touch , iPad
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: October 22, 2018
  • Category: Social Networking
  • Version: 1.2
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 10.0 or later
  • Last updated: January 7, 2019

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