What's all this then? Well, you know how Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all, like, big evil corporations, yeah?
Well these marvellous boffins from the internet have invented software that give us twitters and instagramy-type things, but owned by the people, man. The people can run their own little twitters or instagrams, either in groups or alone, and all these little twitters or instagrams can talk to each other. You can follow, like and reply to people on different websites. This patchwork of communities and people is called "The Fediverse".
If you would like to join the Fediverse to follow me, which you absolutely should, it's pretty easy. A good default choice is to just sign up to Mastodon.online, which is a big community run by the makers of Mastodon, the most popular Fediverse software. Or if you're into dinosaurs, or just want the bestest internet handle in the world, you can join an instance I run at Sauropods.win.
A blessing and curse of all community-driven things like this is that you have other choices. Like, a lot of other choices. Here's a few:
Mastodon has a writeup on joining and your choices of communities here.
Pleroma (another popular twitter-like application) has a writeup here.
Pixelfed (an Instagram-like experience) is here.
You can also run the software on a server yourself (eek!), or pay someone to do it for you and hook it up to your website's domain like I have. I use Masto.host to look after my Mastodons, for €6 a month.
You will also have a choice of what apps you can use to interact with your Fediverse software of choice. You can use them through your web browser, or download an app of your choice from an app store. I use Mast for Mastodon on my phone and iPad.