Mastodon’s number of active users has plummeted since the spike caused by Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter.

Mastodon couldn’t keep up with the sudden influx of hundreds of thousands of new users to the platform after Elon Musk took over Twitter. The latest statistics published by the site itself show that the number of active users has decreased dramatically; that number has declined by more than 30% since the peak of participation and continues to decline. There were about 1.8 million active users in the first week of January, up from 2.5 million in early December. Many have touted Mastodon as a potential replacement for Twitter, but these statistics suggest that won’t happen.

Mastodon is an open source social network that operates independently of its own servers. The platform is very similar to Twitter and some even consider it an alternative. It registered hundreds of thousands of new users between November and December. Many indeed left Twitter for rival Mastodon to protest Musk’s arrival at the helm of Twitter and the controversial policies he instituted in his early days as CEO of Twit. Before Musk took over Twitter in late October, Mastodon had about 500,000 active users.

By mid-November, this figure had risen to nearly 2 million active users. However, this increase was short-lived, as the number of active Mastodon users has been declining since the beginning of the year. For many, this finding is explained by the fact that Mastodon simply did not fulfill the specific and essential role of Twitter that many expected. Critics now claim that users have a hard time understanding it because it’s too complicated and can’t replace it. Social media strategist Meg Coffey said Twitter is simple in its simplest form.

You can open an app or website, type in a few words, and you’re done. I mean, it was the main SMS platform,” he added. He explained that people are flocking to Mastodon because they are angry about what Twitter has become with the new policies introduced by Musk. There were a lot of people who were scared, there were a lot of people who didn’t want to be where Twitter had become. I’m a big fan of mute and block, and that’s why my Twitter is fantastic. This is a really nice place,” the analyst said.

But I know for many people this is not the case. And so I can understand that they wanted to find a place that was less toxic or less harmful. Mastodon reached about 130,000 users in one day. These increases coincided with highly controversial decisions made by Musk. These include firing thousands of Twitter employees, changing verification policies, restoring Donald Trump’s Twitter account, and suspending journalists who reported on Musk. Other scandals do not fit into this timeline.

Indeed, there were more reasons to hate Twitter than to love it. Mastodon rode the wave of chaos unleashed by Musk on Twitter, but the platform didn’t stop. Data produced by companies such as Google revealed that searches for Mastodon spiked in April of last year, when Musk announced that he had become Twitter’s largest shareholder. Coffey notes that several new social networks have been successful. Most of them were easy to use and built a community, like the BeReal photo sharing app released in 2020.

For many users, Mastodon could be too difficult to port to their communities and was simply too complex. According to Coffey, some may have returned to Twitter, while others may have given up on social media altogether. Everyone signed up for Mastodon and realized how hard it was, then went back on Twitter and said, “Oh, that’s hard. Maybe we’re not going there.” It’s like the people who said “I’m moving to Canada” when Donald Trump was elected. They never moved to Canada,” he said.

A sudden influx of hundreds of thousands of new people to Mastodon attracted investors who expressed interest in investing in the social network’s growth, but the owner, German developer Eugen Rochko, said he had rejected all offers of funding. In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Rochko said he has received offers from at least five US-based venture capitalists to invest “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to back the product. But he dismissed the offers, saying Mastodon’s nonprofit status was “inviolable.”

According to Rochko, Mastodon’s independence and choice of moderation styles on its servers were part of its appeal. Mastodon won’t become everything you hate about Twitter. It could be sold to a controversial billionaire, shut down, bankrupt, etc. This is a difference of paradigms [entre les plateformes] “said Rochko. According to him, there are many reasons that make Mastodon attractive, including the fact that it is run by a non-profit organization, lack of advertising infrastructure, internal monetization and lack of an algorithm.

Mastodon reportedly relies primarily on donations to fund its platform. For example, he raises about $25,000 a month through Patreon from more than 8,500 regular donors. However, Rochko told the Financial Times that his long-term goal is for Mastodon to replace Twitter as the world’s leading microblogging platform. The road is long, but at the same time, it is bigger than ever. However, recent statistics show that Mastodon is not a serious Twitter alternative.

They show that most of the people who said they left Twitter for Mastodon actually didn’t. Although the two platforms may seem very similar at first glance, there are many differences between the two. It’s likely that many ex-Twitter users will find Mastodon’s decentralized network model superior to Twitter. But the average user will stick with the platform they know until a more direct competitor emerges. Some sources have reported that new Mastodon users are also experiencing problems.

Some servers would struggle to cope with the increased level of activity and the confusion of moderation policies on different servers. Josh Cowls, a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, said Mastodon could become Twitter’s “satellite” platform, “more likely to be used when Twitter is down, as well as in response to other scandals involving Musk.” However, it is unclear whether it will succeed as a replacement for Twitter.

Source: Mastodon

And you?

How do you feel about the topic?
What do you think about Mastodon’s declining number of active users?
What do you think could explain this sudden drop in the number of users?
Think Mastodon is too complicated for the average Twitter user?

See also

Twitter rival Mastodon rejects funding ideas to maintain non-profit status, founder reportedly turns down offers from five venture capital firms

Mastodon is reaching 2.5 million monthly users, benefiting from the reaction to Elon Musk’s controversial Twitter decisions.

Twitter announces ban on advertising from other social networks like Instagram, Mastodon, Facebook, Truth Social and other “competitors”, then changes its mind

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *