Looks like Vivaldi is the first to jump on Mastodon/the Twitter exodus as an opportunity to boost their other offerings. The company launched “Vivaldi Social” on November 15th, which is a Vivaldi-run instance of Mastodon tied in with their other offerings.
From their post, “Vivaldi Social is a natural progression for us, given our existing reliable alternatives to Big Tech — a feature-rich and flexible browser with a built-in mail client, calendar, and feed reader. We also give you the ability to express yourselves through a free and ad-free blogging platform, a thriving forum, and a webmail service.”
This is a pretty smart move and I hope it pays off for them. I have tried Vivaldi a few times and it hasn’t really stuck but I’m willing to give it another shot. But using the browser isn’t mandatory, you can sign up and just use the social service if none of the other offerings appeal to you.
It looks like a fairly stock Mastodon instance but it’s pretty snappy.
Vivaldi seems to be the first company taking this approach, but I doubt they’ll be the last. I certainly hope they won’t. While community run instances are going to be great for the original Twitter cohort, a lot of folks find it overwhelming. Companies like Vivaldi can smooth out the bumps and introduce folks to Mastodon/The Fediverse in a way that’s much more familiar and comfortable. (Like it or not, that’s how you get mass adoption.)
Like open source, a mix of commercial and community is what’s most likely to succeed. A federated network that has many supporters and infrastructure spread over many organizations (for- and non-profit), and has options ranging from DIY to vendor-hosted.
My hope is that many other companies like Vivaldi (yo, Fastmail!) and organizations concerned with an open web (looking at you, Mozilla, EFF!) will quickly follow suit.