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 media platform, has grown its user base from 300K to 2.5 M month-to-month active users.

Eugen Rochko, Founder of Mastodon, revealed the milestone in a blog post today, touting his platform as a “radically various option:

“While there is no shortage of social media platforms new and old, this is a significantly different method to social media that provides something traditional social networks can not. This might be one of the reasons Mastodon has actually recently blown up in popularity, jumping from approx. 300K monthly active users to 2.5 M between the months of October and November, with more and more reporters, 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 complimentary and open-source software application enables anybody to run a social media platform by themselves facilities while connecting to a global decentralized social network.

The unexpected popularity of Mastodon, openly released in 2016, has caused increased concerns and issues from brand-new users.

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

I sifted through the thread to take out some of the leading highlights, including lots of concerns I’ve been seeing from online marketers.

The Twitter Situation

Question: “When you initially decided to develop Mastodon, did you expect a circumstance like the one that occurred with Twitter occurring?”

Rochko said he was skeptical of Twitter’s management but never anticipated this type of scenario:

“Some of my original inspirations for checking out 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 leadership and future, so in a way, yes. But I am not going to pretend like I had any concept anything would end up being of my job then.”

Mastodon As A Twitter Option

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

Rochko says yes:

“If it’s not currently, which I’m practically sure it is and always has actually been, yes.”


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

Rochko says he doesn’t have strong feelings about algorithms, and commits to keeping a reverse-chronological feed:

“I think that customized algorithms like Buy TikTok Verification Badge’s or Buy YouTube Subscribers’s recommendations need 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 bunny holes. I have steered clear of anything machine-learning-related in Mastodon. But I do not have strong sensations about “algorithms” in basic, just that the house feed ought to be reverse-chronological and only include material you decided to put there.”

Explore Page

Concern: “Are there prepares to allow ‘how many time a toot has been favorited’ to be used as a sort criteria? If not, why was the decision required to not utilize this?”

Rochko says the Explore page is created 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 (similar to Reddit and HN).”

Sign-Up Process

Concern: “The sign up process 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 redesigning the onboarding process on Android:

“Our latest beta construct on Android includes a revamped onboarding flow. The most significant differences are that the starting screen now includes an explanation 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 wonder why it does not have more standard features, like separation of DMs from alerts?”

Rochko discusses that Mastodon does not have traditional DMs, just posts limited to private users:

“Mastodon does not have conventional DMs, and different UX choices are inspired by making that more clear. Mastodon has granular presence settings for posts, which implies you can limit an individual post (even as part of a thread) to just your fans, or just individuals mentioned in the post. These can be used for the same function as DMs, however particularly in concerns to the threading model and resolving, they’re not the very same.”

Rochko adds 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 imply, from the ground up designed 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 deal with creating the client-side protocols, and at that time we didn’t have any. In 2021 we lastly introduced a main iOS app, and in 2022 we lastly introduced a main Android app, however there are numerous things that those apps need before end-to-end encrypted DMs that it’s still on the backburner.

Third-Party Apps

Question: “I just want to know why you and your group focuses on the iOS and Android apps because there are already other 3rd party apps available that could be endorsed?”

Rochko states it comes down to trademarks and branding:

“I went into detail on that when the iOS app was initially announced. Individuals search for “Mastodon” on the platforms’ own app shops (in truth, 82% of our iOS downloads come from individuals using the search, and not from any web links to the app). We could not potentially provide our trademark to an app that we had no influence over (what if the app makes bad UX choices or stops being kept?), nor did we want to take over any app that existing users were currently dependent upon and change it. Furthermore, we remain in a special position to have the resources to buy professional UX style. 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 complete AMA here.

Included Image: davide bonaldo/SMM Panel