Mastodon Reaches 2.5 Million Users, Founder Holds Reddit AMA

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

Eugen Rochko, Creator of Mastodon, revealed the turning point in a blog post today, touting his platform as a “significantly different option:

“While there is no lack of social networks platforms brand-new and old, this is a significantly various approach to social media that provides something standard social media can not. This might be one of the reasons why Mastodon has just recently exploded in appeal, leaping from approx. 300K month-to-month active users to 2.5 M between the months of October and November, with increasingly more journalists, political figures, writers, stars and organizations moving over.”

Twitter’s brand-new ownership is causing friction with users, triggering lots of to look for an alternative.

Mastodon’s totally free and open-source software application permits anyone to run a social media platform by themselves facilities while linking to a global decentralized social network.

The sudden appeal of Mastodon, publicly introduced in 2016, has caused increased questions and concerns from new users.

Rochko just recently held an AMA on Reddit to address those issues, answering lots of frequently asked questions.

I sifted through the thread to take out some of the top highlights, consisting of numerous questions I have actually been seeing from online marketers.

The Twitter Situation

Question: “When you initially chose to establish Mastodon, did you anticipate a circumstance like the one that occurred with Twitter happening?”

Rochko said he was hesitant of Twitter’s management however never ever expected this kind of situation:

“Some of my original inspirations for exploring federated social networks (at that time GNU social) and ultimately choosing to do my own take on it with Mastodon were unpredictabilities with Twitter’s management and future, so in a way, yes. However I am not going to pretend like I had any idea anything would become of my project then.”

Mastodon As A Twitter Option

Question: “Do you think mastodon will end up being bigger than other twitter alternatives like fact social?”

Rochko says yes:

“If it’s not currently, which I’m practically 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 method on/ public/local,/ public, and/ house?”

Rochko states he doesn’t have strong sensations about algorithms, and devotes to maintaining a reverse-chronological feed:

“I believe that customized algorithms like Buy TikTok Verification Badge‘s or Buy YouTube Subscribers’s suggestions have to be approached with a great deal of care because of how they can reinforce your predispositions and send you down conspiracy bunny holes. I have stayed away from anything machine-learning-related in Mastodon. But I do not have strong sensations about “algorithms” in basic, only that the house feed ought to be reverse-chronological and only consist of content you chose to put there.”

Explore Page

Question: “Are there prepares to allow ‘the number of time a toot has been favorited’ to be utilized as a sort requirements? If not, why was the choice taken to not use this?”

Rochko states the Explore page is designed 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 released (comparable to Reddit and HN).”

Sign-Up Process

Question: “The sign up procedure on Android is a little antiquated. How will you fix that to make it more accessible to less tech smart users?”

Rochko states Mastodon is redesigning the onboarding procedure on Android:

“Our latest beta construct on Android consists of a revamped onboarding circulation. The most significant distinctions are that the beginning screen now consists of an explanation of what servers are, which the server screen will let you tap Next without making a selection by selecting a random General server in your language for you.”

Direct Messages

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

Rochko discusses that Mastodon does not have standard DMs, just posts restricted to private users:

“Mastodon does not have traditional DMs, and numerous UX options are motivated by making that more clear. Mastodon has granular presence settings for posts, which indicates you can limit a specific post (even as part of a thread) to just your fans, or just people mentioned in the post. These can be used for the exact same purpose as DMs, however specifically in regards to the threading design and addressing, they’re not the exact same.”

Rochko includes that end-to-end encrypted DMs are on the back burner, however the priority is improving 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 developed to be DMs. I began working on that feature in 2020 but then it got stalled at the customer level. We needed our own native apps to do the ground work on creating the client-side protocols, and at that time we didn’t have any. In 2021 we lastly launched an official iOS app, and in 2022 we lastly launched an official Android app, but there are many things that those apps require previously end-to-end encrypted DMs that it’s still on the backburner.

Third-Party Apps

Concern: “I just would like to know why you and your team concentrates on the iOS and Android apps considering that there are already other 3rd party apps offered that could be backed?”

Rochko says it boils down to trademarks and branding:

“I explained on that when the iOS app was first announced. Individuals look for “Mastodon” on the platforms’ own app stores (in fact, 82% of our iOS downloads come from individuals utilizing the search, and not from any web links to the app). We could not possibly offer our trademark to an app that we had no influence over (what if the app makes bad UX decisions or stops being kept?), nor did we want to take over any app that existing users were already dependent upon and alter it. Additionally, we remain in a distinct position to have the resources to buy expert UX style. Dealing with our own apps has offered us insights into discomfort points with the APIs and directly fed into improvements to server-side code that all apps can gain from.”

For more, see the complete AMA here.

Featured Image: davide bonaldo/SMM Panel