Mastodon Reaches 2.5 Million Users, Founder Holds Reddit AMA

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

Eugen Rochko, Founder of Mastodon, revealed the milestone in a blog post this week, promoting his platform as a “drastically various alternative:

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

Twitter’s new ownership is triggering friction with users, prompting numerous to seek an alternative.

Mastodon’s complimentary and open-source software application enables anyone to run a social media platform on their own infrastructure while linking to a worldwide decentralized social network.

The sudden popularity of Mastodon, publicly launched in 2016, has resulted in increased concerns and issues from new users.

Rochko recently held an AMA on Reddit to attend to those concerns, responding to lots of frequently asked questions.

I sifted through the thread to pull out a few of the top highlights, including numerous concerns I’ve been seeing from marketers.

The Twitter Circumstance

Question: “When you first decided to establish Mastodon, did you prepare for a situation like the one that happened with Twitter taking place?”

Rochko stated he was doubtful of Twitter’s management but never ever anticipated this type of scenario:

“Some of my initial inspirations for exploring federated social networks (back then GNU social) and ultimately deciding to do my own take on it with Mastodon were uncertainties with Twitter’s leadership and future, so in a manner, yes. However I am not going to pretend like I had any concept anything would become of my job then.”

Mastodon As A Twitter Alternative

Concern: “Do you think mastodon will become larger than other twitter options like fact social?”

Rochko says yes:

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


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

Rochko says he does not have strong sensations about algorithms, and commits to maintaining a reverse-chronological feed:

“I think that tailored algorithms like Buy TikTok Verification Badge’s or Buy YouTube Subscribers’s suggestions have to be approached with a lot of care due to the fact that of how they can enhance your predispositions and send you down conspiracy rabbit holes. I have actually stayed away from anything machine-learning-related in Mastodon. But I do not have strong feelings about “algorithms” in basic, just that the house feed need to be reverse-chronological and just include content you chose to put there.”

Check out Page

Question: “Are there prepares to permit ‘the number of time a toot has been favorited’ to be used as a sort criteria? If not, why was the decision taken to not utilize this?”

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

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

Sign-Up Process

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

Rochko states Mastodon is upgrading the onboarding procedure on Android:

“Our newest beta build on Android includes a revamped onboarding circulation. The most significant distinctions are that the starting screen now includes an explanation of what servers are, and that the server screen will let you tap Next without making a selection by choosing a random General server in your language for you.”

Direct Messages

Concern: “I’m curious why it doesn’t have more fundamental features, like separation of DMs from notifications?”

Rochko explains that Mastodon doesn’t have conventional DMs, just posts limited to individual users:

“Mastodon does not have conventional DMs, and numerous UX choices are encouraged by making that more clear. Mastodon has granular visibility settings for posts, which suggests you can limit a specific post (even as part of a thread) to simply your followers, or just individuals mentioned in the post. These can be utilized for the exact same purpose as DMs, however especially in concerns to the threading model and dealing with, they’re not the very 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 suggest, from the ground up designed to be DMs. I began dealing with that feature in 2020 however then it got stalled at the customer level. We needed our own native apps to do the ground work on developing the client-side procedures, and at that time we didn’t have any. In 2021 we finally introduced an official iOS app, and in 2022 we lastly introduced a main Android app, however there are so many things that those apps need before end-to-end encrypted DMs that it’s still on the backburner.

Third-Party Apps

Concern: “I just need to know why you and your team focuses on the iOS and Android apps given that there are currently other 3rd party apps offered that could be backed?”

Rochko states it boils down to hallmarks and branding:

“I went into detail on that when the iOS app was initially announced. Individuals try to find “Mastodon” on the platforms’ own app shops (in reality, 82% of our iOS downloads come from people using the search, and not from any web links to the app). We could not possibly provide 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 want to take control of any app that existing users were already reliant upon and alter it. Moreover, we’re in a distinct position to have the resources to buy professional UX design. Dealing with our own apps has actually provided us insights into pain points with the APIs and directly fed into enhancements to server-side code that all apps can gain from.”

For more, see the full AMA here.

Included Image: davide bonaldo/SMM Panel