Mastodon Reaches 2.5 Million Users, Founder Holds Reddit AMA

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Because Elon Musk got 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 milestone in a blog post this week, touting his platform as a “radically various option:

“While there is no lack of social media platforms brand-new and old, this is a significantly different technique to social media that provides something traditional social media can not. This may be one of the reasons that Mastodon has actually recently taken off in appeal, leaping from approx. 300K monthly active users to 2.5 M between the months of October and November, with a growing number of journalists, political figures, authors, stars and organizations moving over.”

Twitter’s new ownership is triggering friction with users, triggering lots of to seek an option.

Mastodon’s totally free and open-source software allows anybody to run a social media platform by themselves infrastructure while connecting to an international decentralized social network.

The sudden appeal of Mastodon, publicly launched in 2016, has led to increased questions and concerns from new users.

Rochko just recently held an AMA on Reddit to resolve those issues, responding to lots of frequently asked concerns.

I sorted through the thread to take out a few of the leading highlights, consisting of lots of concerns I’ve been seeing from online marketers.

The Twitter Scenario

Concern: “When you initially decided to develop Mastodon, did you anticipate a circumstance like the one that came to pass with Twitter occurring?”

Rochko stated he was doubtful of Twitter’s management however never anticipated this sort of scenario:

“Some of my original inspirations for checking out federated social media (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 way, yes. But I am not going to pretend like I had any idea anything would become of my job then.”

Mastodon As A Twitter Alternative

Concern: “Do you believe mastodon will end up being larger than other twitter alternatives like fact social?”

Rochko states yes:

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


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

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

“I think that personalized algorithms like Buy TikTok Verification Badge’s or Buy YouTube Subscribers’s recommendations have to be approached with a lot of care because of how they can reinforce your biases and send you down conspiracy rabbit holes. I have actually avoided anything machine-learning-related in Mastodon. But I do not have strong feelings about “algorithms” in general, only that the house feed should be reverse-chronological and only consist of material you decided to put there.”

Explore Page

Question: “Exist prepares to permit ‘the number of time a toot has been favorited’ to be utilized as a sort criteria? If not, why was the decision required 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 process on Android is a little archaic. How will you repair that to make it more accessible to less tech smart users?”

Rochko states Mastodon is revamping the onboarding process on Android:

“Our newest beta develop on Android includes an upgraded onboarding flow. The greatest distinctions are that the beginning screen now consists of a description of what servers are, which the server screen will let you tap Next without making a selection by picking a random General server in your language for you.”

Direct Messages

Question: “I wonder why it does not have more fundamental functions, like separation of DMs from notices?”

Rochko discusses that Mastodon doesn’t have standard DMs, only posts limited to individual users:

“Mastodon does not have standard DMs, and various UX choices are motivated 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 simply your followers, or just people mentioned in the post. These can be used for the exact same function as DMs, but particularly in concerns to the threading design and dealing with, they’re not the same.”

Rochko includes that end-to-end encrypted DMs are on the back burner, however the priority is enhancing the main 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 created to be DMs. I began working on that feature in 2020 however then it got stalled at the customer level. We needed our own native apps to do the ground deal with creating the client-side procedures, and back then we didn’t have any. In 2021 we lastly launched an official iOS app, and in 2022 we lastly launched an official Android app, however there are so many things that those apps need in the past 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 because there are currently other third party apps readily available that could be endorsed?”

Rochko states it comes down to hallmarks and branding:

“I went into detail on that when the iOS app was initially announced. People try to find “Mastodon” on the platforms’ own app shops (in reality, 82% of our iOS downloads originate from people 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 kept?), nor did we want to take over any app that existing users were already reliant upon and alter it. Additionally, we’re in an unique position to have the resources to purchase professional UX design. Working on our own apps has actually given us insights into pain points with the APIs and straight 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