Mastodon Reaches 2.5 Million Users, Creator Holds Reddit AMA

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Given 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 regular monthly active users.

Eugen Rochko, Founder of Mastodon, announced the milestone in a post today, touting his platform as a “significantly different option:

“While there is no lack of social networks platforms new and old, this is a radically different technique to social networks that provides something traditional social media can not. This may be among the reasons Mastodon has just recently blown up in appeal, leaping from approx. 300K regular monthly active users to 2.5 M between the months of October and November, with a growing number of reporters, political figures, writers, actors and organizations moving over.”

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

Mastodon’s free and open-source software application permits anybody to run a social networks platform by themselves facilities while connecting to an international decentralized social network.

The unexpected appeal of Mastodon, publicly launched in 2016, has led to increased concerns and issues from brand-new users.

Rochko just recently held an AMA on Reddit to deal with those issues, answering dozens of commonly asked concerns.

I sorted through the thread to pull out some of the leading highlights, consisting of numerous concerns I’ve been seeing from online marketers.

The Twitter Situation

Question: “When you first decided to establish Mastodon, did you prepare for a scenario like the one that happened with Twitter occurring?”

Rochko said he was hesitant of Twitter’s leadership however never ever expected this type of situation:

“A few of my original inspirations for checking out federated social media (at that time GNU social) and ultimately deciding to do my own take on it with Mastodon were uncertainties with Twitter’s management and future, so in a manner, yes. But I am not going to pretend like I had any concept anything would become of my job then.”

Mastodon As A Twitter Option

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

Rochko says yes:

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


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

Rochko says he does not have strong sensations about algorithms, and devotes to keeping a reverse-chronological feed:

“I think that personalized algorithms like Buy TikTok Verification Badge’s or Buy YouTube Subscribers’s suggestions need to be approached with a lot of care because of how they can enhance your predispositions and send you down conspiracy rabbit holes. I have actually stayed away from anything machine-learning-related in Mastodon. However I do not have strong sensations about “algorithms” in general, just that the home feed need to be reverse-chronological and only consist of material you chose to put there.”

Check out Page

Concern: “Are there prepares to allow ‘the number of time a toot has been favorited’ to be used as a sort requirements? If not, why was the choice taken to not utilize this?”

Rochko says 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 published (similar to Reddit and HN).”

Sign-Up Process

Concern: “The sign up procedure on Android is a little antiquated. How will you fix that to make it more available to less tech savvy users?”

Rochko says Mastodon is revamping the onboarding process on Android:

“Our latest beta build on Android consists of an upgraded onboarding circulation. The most significant distinctions are that the beginning screen now includes a description 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

Concern: “I wonder why it doesn’t have more basic features, like separation of DMs from notifications?”

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

“Mastodon does not have standard DMs, and different UX options are inspired by making that more clear. Mastodon has granular exposure settings for posts, which suggests you can restrict an individual post (even as part of a thread) to just your followers, or just individuals mentioned in the post. These can be used for the very same purpose as DMs, however especially in regards to the threading model and dealing with, they’re not the very same.”

Rochko includes that end-to-end encrypted DMs are on the back burner, however the concern is enhancing the official 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 started dealing with that feature in 2020 however then it got stalled at the client level. We needed our own native apps to do the ground work on developing the client-side procedures, and at that time we didn’t have any. In 2021 we finally introduced a main iOS app, and in 2022 we lastly released an official Android app, but there are numerous things that those apps need previously 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 because there are already other third party apps available that could be backed?”

Rochko states it comes down to trademarks and branding:

“I explained on that when the iOS app was first revealed. People try to find “Mastodon” on the platforms’ own app stores (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 perhaps provide our trademark 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 over any app that existing users were currently dependent upon and change it. In addition, we’re in a distinct position to have the resources to invest in professional UX style. Dealing with our own apps has provided 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 complete AMA here.

Featured Image: davide bonaldo/SMM Panel