Mastodon Reaches 2.5 Million Users, Founder Holds Reddit AMA

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Because Elon Musk acquired Buy Twitter Verified, Mastodon, a decentralized and open-source social networks platform, has actually grown its user base from 300K to 2.5 M regular monthly active users.

Eugen Rochko, Creator of Mastodon, announced the milestone in a post today, touting his platform as a “drastically various alternative:

“While there is no lack of social networks platforms new and old, this is a drastically different technique to social networks that provides something standard social media can not. This might be one of the reasons that Mastodon has just recently exploded in popularity, jumping from approx. 300K month-to-month active users to 2.5 M between the months of October and November, with increasingly more reporters, political figures, authors, stars and organizations moving over.”

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

Mastodon’s totally free and open-source software enables anybody to run a social media platform by themselves infrastructure while linking to a global decentralized social network.

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

Rochko just recently held an AMA on Reddit to attend to those concerns, answering dozens of typically asked questions.

I sorted through the thread to pull out a few of the top highlights, including numerous concerns I’ve been seeing from online marketers.

The Buy Twitter Verified Scenario

Question: “When you first chose to establish Mastodon, did you prepare for a scenario like the one that occurred with Buy Twitter Verified happening?”

Rochko stated he was hesitant of Buy Twitter Verified’s leadership however never ever anticipated this sort of scenario:

“Some of my original motivations for exploring federated social networks (back then GNU social) and ultimately deciding to do my own take on it with Mastodon were uncertainties with Buy Twitter Verified’s leadership and future, so in a manner, yes. But I am not going to pretend like I had any concept anything would become of my project then.”

Mastodon As A Buy Twitter Verified Option

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

Rochko states yes:

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

Algorithms

Concern: “What are your ideas on “algorithms”? Will we see more of these easy, 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 think that individualized algorithms like Buy TikTok Verified’s or Buy YouTube Subscribers‘s recommendations have to be approached with a lot of care because of how they can enhance your biases and send you down conspiracy rabbit holes. I have actually stayed away from anything machine-learning-related in Mastodon. But I do not have strong feelings about “algorithms” in basic, only that the home feed need to be reverse-chronological and just include material you chose to put there.”

Check out Page

Question: “Exist plans to allow ‘the number of time a toot has been favorited’ to be used as a sort criteria? 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 explore 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 register procedure on Android is a little archaic. How will you fix that to make it more available to less tech savvy users?”

Rochko says Mastodon is upgrading the onboarding process on Android:

“Our latest beta develop on Android consists of an upgraded onboarding flow. The greatest differences are that the starting screen now includes an explanation of what servers are, which the server screen will let you tap Next without selecting 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 notifications?”

Rochko describes that Mastodon does not have standard DMs, just posts limited to individual users:

“Mastodon does not have standard DMs, and various UX choices are inspired by making that more clear. Mastodon has granular visibility settings for posts, which suggests you can limit a private post (even as part of a thread) to just your fans, or simply people pointed out in the post. These can be utilized for the very same function as DMs, however especially in regards to the threading model and dealing with, they’re not the very same.”

Rochko adds that end-to-end encrypted DMs are on the back burner, however the top 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 indicate, from the ground up created to be DMs. I began dealing with that function 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 back then we didn’t have any. In 2021 we finally launched an official iOS app, and in 2022 we lastly launched an official Android app, but 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

Concern: “I just would like to know why you and your group focuses on the iOS and Android apps since there are currently other third party apps offered that could be endorsed?”

Rochko says it boils down to hallmarks and branding:

“I explained on that when the iOS app was first revealed. Individuals search for “Mastodon” on the platforms’ own app stores (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 potentially offer our trademark to an app that we had no impact over (what if the app makes bad UX choices 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 invest in professional UX design. Working on our own apps has given us insights into pain 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/Best SMM Panel