Mastodon Reaches 2.5 Million Users, Founder Holds Reddit AMA

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Considering that Elon Musk acquired 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 an article this week, promoting his platform as a “radically various option:

“While there is no lack of social media platforms new and old, this is a significantly different technique to social networks that provides something conventional social networks can not. This might be among the reasons why Mastodon has just recently taken off in popularity, jumping from approx. 300K regular monthly active users to 2.5 M in between the months of October and November, with more and more reporters, political figures, writers, stars and organizations moving over.”

Twitter’s new ownership is triggering friction with users, prompting many to look for an alternative.

Mastodon’s free and open-source software enables anyone to run a social networks platform on their own facilities while connecting to a worldwide decentralized social media network.

The sudden appeal of Mastodon, openly launched in 2016, has actually resulted in increased questions and concerns from new users.

Rochko recently held an AMA on Reddit to address those concerns, addressing lots of frequently asked concerns.

I sorted through the thread to take out some of the leading highlights, consisting of numerous concerns I have actually been seeing from marketers.

The Twitter Scenario

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

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

“Some of my initial motivations for checking out federated social networks (at that time GNU social) and eventually choosing 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 concept anything would end up being of my project then.”

Mastodon As A Twitter Option

Question: “Do you believe mastodon will end up being larger than other twitter options like reality social?”

Rochko says yes:

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


Question: “What are your ideas 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 says he does not have strong sensations about algorithms, and commits to preserving 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 because of how they can strengthen your predispositions and send you down conspiracy bunny holes. I have actually avoided anything machine-learning-related in Mastodon. However I do not have strong sensations about “algorithms” in basic, just that the home feed should be reverse-chronological and only contain material you chose to put there.”

Check out Page

Question: “Exist plans to allow ‘how many time a toot has been favorited’ to be utilized as a sort criteria? If not, why was the decision taken 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 published (comparable to Reddit and HN).”

Sign-Up Process

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

“Our latest beta develop on Android consists of a redesigned onboarding circulation. The most significant distinctions are that the starting screen now consists of a description of what servers are, and that the server screen will let you tap Next without selecting by picking a random General server in your language for you.”

Direct Messages

Concern: “I wonder why it doesn’t have more fundamental functions, like separation of DMs from alerts?”

Rochko describes that Mastodon does not have conventional DMs, just posts restricted to individual users:

“Mastodon does not have conventional DMs, and numerous UX choices are inspired by making that more clear. Mastodon has granular visibility settings for posts, which means you can limit a private post (even as part of a thread) to just your fans, or just individuals discussed in the post. These can be used for the same function as DMs, however specifically in regards to the threading design and attending to, they’re not the very same.”

Rochko adds that end-to-end encrypted DMs are on the back burner, but 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 imply, from the ground up developed to be DMs. I started dealing with 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 at that time we didn’t have any. In 2021 we lastly released a main iOS app, and in 2022 we finally introduced an official Android app, but there are so many things that those apps require in the past 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 group focuses on the iOS and Android apps considering that there are already other third party apps readily available that could be backed?”

Rochko says it comes down to hallmarks and branding:

“I explained on that when the iOS app was initially revealed. People try to find “Mastodon” on the platforms’ own app stores (in reality, 82% of our iOS downloads come from individuals utilizing the search, and not from any web links to the app). We could not possibly give our hallmark to an app that we had no impact over (what if the app makes bad UX decisions or stops being maintained?), nor did we want to take over any app that existing users were currently reliant upon and alter it. Furthermore, we remain in a distinct position to have the resources to purchase expert UX design. Dealing with our own apps has actually provided 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.

Included Image: davide bonaldo/SMM Panel