I believe these instances are good recommendations, but of course I could be wrong. Do your own research and feel free to tell me if some of them are problematic and should be removed from this list, or if any of the table contents are wrong.
|mastodon.art||English/International||Artists of any kind||500|
|dragonscave.space||English||Visually impaired||2000||Hometown features|
|diode.zone||English||Creative or educational video artists of any kind|
This is a small list of instances (servers) I’ve come across that I believe are good places to sign up on. Wherever you sign up, make sure to read the instance rules, both to abide by them and to see if you agree with them – if not, try a different instance. Also consider donating to your instance admins to keep it running! The main differences between instances are the rules, actually enforced moderation and general vibe of local users.
Of course, if you’re new to the Fediverse, these instances won’t mean anything to you. Just pick one with a domain that sounds good to you, it will be part of your username after all, and then check its rules.
Remember that they are all connected, you can access users from the entire Fediverse on any instance, you won’t even notice that the posts you see are from lots of different instances unless you look at the usernames. And you can switch at any time and keep your follows+followers, so don’t worry about which one to choose!
Another misconception I’ve seen is that people believe each instance is only for a specific topic like subreddits or Discord servers and they would have to make multiple accounts on multiple instances or just create one account on a giant general instance. For example, mastodon.art is only for art, floss.social is only for dental posts and so on. But that’s not the case. Some instances are themed around a particular topic like art or Star Trek, but you can post anything on them, just like you would on Twitter or Tumblr. These themes only serve as one thing all people on that instance have in common which makes it more likely to find like-minded people and interesting posts in the local timeline.
I don’t use any mobile app myself, so I can’t recommend anything from personal experience. I’ve heard that the new app by the Mastodon developers isn’t that great and lacks a lot of important features, and that using other good apps is a much better experience, from basic features to additional features like scheduled posts or multiple accounts. The following apps seem to be great: