Just for fun, I installed Pleroma on a little GCP Debian instance. It was easy. Nothing like the mess that is Mastodon. Very few dependencies and low server requirements.
Following Mastodon users works like a charm. It’s so compatible with Mastodon that it ships with an optional Mastodon front end.
It’s running at mb.baty.net but I don’t know what I’ll do with it. Gotta find a better domain name, that’s for sure.