Twitter’s recent decision to rebrand itself as “X,” has resulted in a significant backlash from its user base. In contrast, Mastodon, it’s open source competitor is experiencing a surge in user numbers.
According to Eugen Rochko, the founder and CEO of Mastodon, the monthly active users on his platform have steadily increased over the past few months, reaching an impressive 2.1 million—a number not far from their previous peak.
Prior to Elon Musk’s ownership of Twitter, Mastodon had a much smaller user base of approximately 300,000 monthly active users.
However, during Twitter’s acquisition and the subsequent implementation of various unpopular changes, such as widespread layoffs and a mishandled relaunch of the subscription service Twitter Blue, many loyal Twitter users rebelled and sought alternatives.
This issue from Twitter led to a boost in Mastodon’s user numbers, peaking at 2.5 million monthly users between October and November.
Unfortunately, not all Twitter users who experimented with Mastodon stayed on the platform, causing the monthly active users to dip to 1.7 million at the beginning of the current month.
Some users also migrated to different Twitter alternatives like Bluesky, T2, Spill, Post, and others, while some reduced their Twitter usage or abandoned it entirely.
It remains unclear whether Mastodon’s recent resurgence is primarily due to Musk’s continued missteps with Twitter or if it is driven by the renewed interest in ActivityPub—a decentralized social networking protocol powering the Mastodon network and other applications.
Moreover, Musk’s decision to enact rate limiting, which restricts the number of tweets users and subscribers can view, has frustrated Twitter users.
While rate limiting is common to tackle bots and spam, implementing it to the extent that users can’t access content seems odd and counterproductive. This move may also be contributing to Mastodon’s growing user base.
The surge in Mastodon’s popularity could be attributed to a combination of factors, including the launch of polished third-party Mastodon clients that offer a less complicated and more enjoyable user experience.
Apps like Ivory from Tapbots, Woolly inspired by TweetDeck, and Mammoth developed by a former Twitter app maker have gained traction.
Additionally, Ice Cubes and Radiant, two other Mastodon apps, have debuted, and the official Mastodon mobile app has been refreshed to address user concerns and provide more customization options.
Beyond user interest, Mastodon has received attention from other tech companies. WordPress acquired a plugin enabling WordPress blogs to integrate with Mastodon.
Medium launched its own Mastodon server, and Flipboard integrated with the network in its social reading app, along with working towards ActivityPub integration.
Full Story Source: Mastodon Surges In Popularity As Twitter Rebrands To “X”