Mastodon Reaches 2.5 Million Users, Creator Holds Reddit AMA

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Because Elon Musk acquired Twitter, Mastodon, a decentralized and open-source social networks platform, has grown its user base from 300K to 2.5 M regular monthly active users.

Eugen Rochko, Founder of Mastodon, announced the turning point in a blog post today, promoting his platform as a “radically different alternative:

“While there is no scarcity of social networks platforms brand-new and old, this is a significantly different technique to social networks that uses something traditional social networks can not. This might be among the reasons Mastodon has just recently exploded in popularity, leaping from approx. 300K monthly active users to 2.5 M in between the months of October and November, with increasingly more reporters, political figures, authors, actors and organizations moving over.”

Twitter’s brand-new ownership is causing friction with users, prompting many to seek an option.

Mastodon’s totally free and open-source software allows anybody to run a social networks platform on their own infrastructure while linking to a global decentralized social network.

The abrupt appeal of Mastodon, publicly introduced in 2016, has resulted in increased concerns and issues from brand-new users.

Rochko recently held an AMA on Reddit to attend to those issues, addressing dozens of frequently asked concerns.

I sorted through the thread to pull out some of the leading highlights, consisting of many concerns I’ve been seeing from online marketers.

The Twitter Scenario

Concern: “When you first chose to develop Mastodon, did you expect a situation like the one that occurred with Twitter taking place?”

Rochko stated he was skeptical of Twitter’s management however never anticipated this kind of situation:

“A few of my initial motivations for exploring federated social networks (at that time GNU social) and eventually deciding to do my own take on it with Mastodon were unpredictabilities with Twitter’s management and future, so in such a way, yes. However I am not going to pretend like I had any idea anything would end up being of my project then.”

Mastodon As A Twitter Alternative

Concern: “Do you believe mastodon will become bigger than other twitter alternatives like fact social?”

Rochko says yes:

“If it’s not already, which I’m nearly sure it is and always has been, yes.”


Concern: “What are your thoughts on “algorithms”? Will we see more of these simple, transparent algorithms for post sorting, for instance as an alternative sort technique on/ public/local,/ public, and/ house?”

Rochko states he does not have strong feelings about algorithms, and devotes to maintaining a reverse-chronological feed:

“I think that individualized algorithms like Buy TikTok Verification Badge’s or Buy YouTube Subscribers’s recommendations have to be approached with a great deal of care since of how they can strengthen your biases and send you down conspiracy bunny holes. I have actually steered clear of anything machine-learning-related in Mastodon. But I do not have strong feelings about “algorithms” in general, just that the home feed must be reverse-chronological and only include content you chose to put there.”

Explore Page

Concern: “Exist prepares to enable ‘how many time a toot has been favorited’ to be utilized as a sort requirements? If not, why was the decision taken to not use this?”

Rochko says the Explore page is developed to do this by default:

“Trending posts on the explore page are ranked by their reblogs and favourites count with a decay from the time the post was released (comparable to Reddit and HN).”

Sign-Up Process

Concern: “The register procedure on Android is a little antiquated. How will you repair that to make it more accessible to less tech smart users?”

Rochko says Mastodon is upgrading the onboarding process on Android:

“Our most current beta develop on Android includes a revamped onboarding flow. The most significant distinctions are that the beginning screen now includes a description of what servers are, and that the server screen will let you tap Next without selecting by choosing a random General server in your language for you.”

Direct Messages

Question: “I’m curious why it doesn’t have more standard features, like separation of DMs from notices?”

Rochko describes that Mastodon doesn’t have standard DMs, only posts limited to specific users:

“Mastodon does not have conventional DMs, and numerous UX options are encouraged by making that more clear. Mastodon has granular visibility settings for posts, which indicates you can limit a private post (even as part of a thread) to just your followers, or simply people discussed in the post. These can be used for the same purpose as DMs, however particularly in regards to the threading model and addressing, they’re not the same.”

Rochko includes that end-to-end encrypted DMs are on the back burner, however the concern is enhancing the official iOS and Android apps:

“What we have on the backburner are end-to-end encrypted DMs. And by that I mean, from the ground up designed to be DMs. I started working on that feature in 2020 but then it got stalled at the client level. We required our own native apps to do the ground work on designing the client-side protocols, and back then we didn’t have any. In 2021 we finally introduced a main iOS app, and in 2022 we lastly introduced a main Android app, however there are a lot of things that those apps need before end-to-end encrypted DMs that it’s still on the backburner.

Third-Party Apps

Concern: “I simply need to know why you and your team focuses on the iOS and Android apps given that there are currently other third party apps readily available that could be endorsed?”

Rochko states it boils down to hallmarks and branding:

“I explained on that when the iOS app was first revealed. Individuals search for “Mastodon” on the platforms’ own app shops (in fact, 82% of our iOS downloads come from people utilizing the search, and not from any web links to the app). We could not possibly give our trademark to an app that we had no influence over (what if the app makes bad UX choices or stops being preserved?), nor did we wish to take control of any app that existing users were currently dependent upon and alter it. Furthermore, we remain in a special position to have the resources to invest in expert UX style. Working on our own apps has actually offered us insights into discomfort points with the APIs and straight fed into enhancements to server-side code that all apps can benefit from.”

For more, see the complete AMA here.

Included Image: davide bonaldo/SMM Panel