Mastodon Reaches 2.5 Million Users, Creator Holds Reddit AMA

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

Eugen Rochko, Creator of Mastodon, announced the turning point in an article today, promoting his platform as a “radically various alternative:

“While there is no scarcity of social media platforms brand-new and old, this is a radically different approach to social media that uses something conventional social networks can not. This may be one of the reasons Mastodon has recently exploded in popularity, leaping from approx. 300K monthly active users to 2.5 M in between the months of October and November, with a growing number of journalists, 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 totally free and open-source software application enables anybody to run a social media platform by themselves infrastructure while linking to an international decentralized social media.

The abrupt popularity of Mastodon, openly released in 2016, has led to increased questions and issues from brand-new users.

Rochko just recently held an AMA on Reddit to attend to those concerns, answering lots of commonly asked concerns.

I sorted through the thread to take out a few of the top highlights, consisting of lots of concerns I have actually been seeing from marketers.

The Twitter Scenario

Question: “When you initially decided to establish Mastodon, did you prepare for a scenario like the one that came to pass with Twitter taking place?”

Rochko stated he was skeptical of Twitter’s leadership however never anticipated this type of situation:

“A few of my original motivations for checking out federated social media (at that time GNU social) and ultimately deciding to do my own take on it with Mastodon were unpredictabilities with Twitter’s leadership and future, so in a way, yes. However I am not going to pretend like I had any idea anything would become of my task then.”

Mastodon As A Twitter Option

Question: “Do you believe mastodon will become larger than other twitter alternatives like truth social?”

Rochko says yes:

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


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

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

“I believe that personalized algorithms like Buy TikTok Verification Badge’s or Buy YouTube Subscribers’s recommendations have to be approached with a lot of care since of how they can strengthen your biases and send you down conspiracy rabbit holes. I have avoided anything machine-learning-related in Mastodon. However I do not have strong sensations about “algorithms” in general, just that the house feed should be reverse-chronological and just contain content you chose to put there.”

Explore Page

Concern: “Exist prepares to enable ‘the number of time a toot has been favorited’ to be utilized as a sort criteria? If not, why was the choice required to not use this?”

Rochko says the Explore page is created 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 fix that to make it more accessible to less tech smart users?”

Rochko says Mastodon is upgrading the onboarding procedure on Android:

“Our most current beta build on Android consists of a redesigned onboarding flow. The biggest differences are that the starting screen now includes a description of what servers are, and that 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

Question: “I wonder why it doesn’t have more basic functions, like separation of DMs from notices?”

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

“Mastodon does not have traditional DMs, and numerous UX options are encouraged by making that more clear. Mastodon has granular exposure settings for posts, which means you can restrict a specific post (even as part of a thread) to simply your followers, or just people mentioned in the post. These can be used for the same function as DMs, however particularly in concerns to the threading design and attending to, they’re not the exact same.”

Rochko includes that end-to-end encrypted DMs are on the back burner, but the concern is enhancing the main 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 created to be DMs. I began dealing with that function in 2020 however then it got stalled at the client level. We needed our own native apps to do the ground deal with developing the client-side procedures, and back then we didn’t have any. In 2021 we lastly introduced an official iOS app, and in 2022 we lastly launched 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

Question: “I just need to know why you and your team concentrates on the iOS and Android apps considering that there are already other 3rd 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. People look for “Mastodon” on the platforms’ own app shops (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 provide our hallmark to an app that we had no impact 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 currently reliant upon and alter it. Furthermore, we remain in an unique position to have the resources to buy expert UX design. Working on our own apps has actually given us insights into discomfort points with the APIs and directly fed into enhancements to server-side code that all apps can take advantage of.”

For more, see the full AMA here.

Featured Image: davide bonaldo/SMM Panel