Don’t be surprised if you find most of your Twitter friends on Mastodon.
Twitter appears to be losing steam and racing to a relative newbie. Mastodon, a decentralised and open-source social network has popped up from nowhere to eat into Twitter’s follower base.
Almost 900,000 Twitter accounts were deactivated between October 27 and Nov. 1, an MIT Technology Review report said.
Mastodon's creator, Eugen Rochko, said the service has gained 489,003 new users since October 27 and now has over a million active users. That is still just a tiny fraction of Twitter's 238 million, but the trend can be scary for the micro-blogging site.
“We have observed an uptick in people deactivating their accounts and also Twitter suspending accounts,” said Christopher Bouzy, the founder of Bot Sentinel, which tracks inauthentic behaviour on Twitter by analysing more than 3.1 million accounts and their activity daily.
Ever since the Elon Musk era has set in, Twitter appeared messy, like never before.
Soon after he had ‘freed the bird’ and declared to rid the micro-blogging platform of ‘free-for-all’ syndrome, expectations skyrocketed. The bubble seems to have fizzled out sooner than it was expected.
The sudden arrival of users to Mastodon is caused by a notable wave of migration from Twitter, as it uses a similar interface and social feed format.
Some of its features are 500-character posts called ‘toots’ arranged in a chronological feed, user tagging (mentions), privacy posting options, a hashtags system, and more.
Trends show people are leaving Twitter because they are worried about Musk’s controversial account verification and freedom of speech policy changes.
A voluminous wave of switchover to Mastodon came when Twitter announced massive layoffs of personnel, which didn't go down well with the community.
What is Mastodon?
Mastodon looks similar to Twitter but it's fundamentally different. It functions on a network of self-hosted servers that each has its terms, privacy options, and content moderation policies.
What separates Mastodon from Twitter is that its approach is decentralised. It does not belong to a single person or company, and it's not operated for profit, so there are no ads, although people may still promote services independently.
However, its servers are not encrypted and can be viewed by the admins of the server hosting the messages.
Since October 27, 1,124 new servers have been added to the Mastodon network, opening up to welcome new users looking to join.
Twitter is already facing the heat. It has always been an underdog among social media peers, just a fraction of the size of Meta Platforms Inc., TikTok, or YouTube. It remains to be seen how much Mastodon can eat into the followers base of the world’s most important engine for politics, news, and entertainment.