It appears that a Twitter alternative has officially broken out from the pack.
According to an update from Mastodon, the decentralized, open-source Twitter alternative has been gaining traction fast ever since Twitter was taken over by its new owner, Elon Musk.
“Mastodon has recently exploded in popularity, jumping from approx. 300K monthly active users to 2.5M between the months of October and November, with more and more journalists, political figures, writers, actors and organizations moving over,” Mastodon creator Eugen Rochko said in a statement.
From 300,000 users to 2,500,000 in just a month is pretty substantial growth, particularly for a platform that’s just one of many duking it out in a competition to replace Musk’s chaotic new Twitter. At the beginning of last month, just days after Musk became owner of Twitter, Mastodon shared that it had around 655,000 users. So, this recent update shows that the growth trend wasn’t some one-time swing with new users joining at a specific moment. Elon Musk’s ongoing antics appear to be helping Mastodon sustain that growth.
It should be noted that these numbers only include Mastodon usage up to the end of November. It will be interesting to see how growth looks in December, especially during the period immediately following Musk suspension of a handful of journalists who reported on him, and the banning of the @ElonJet account. (Disclosure: I am one of those suspended journalists.)
As someone who set up an account at Mastodon in April when word first broke that Musk was planning to acquire Twitter, the change at this alternative platform has been significant.
Mastodon has been around for roughly six years now and once had a fairly niche audience of tech-savvy users. Now, it’s growing well beyond that. Users with all sorts of backgrounds seem to be finding their way on to Mastodon.
Of course, Mastodon is still nowhere near Twitter’s much larger user base of around 250 million daily active users. And many Mastodon users are still using their Twitter accounts alongside their Mastodon account too, so they are not entirely divorced from the Musk-owned platform yet.
But, in this current social media landscape, it’s always good to have alternatives. And Mastodon is making a convincing case that it’s the place to go if you want something different from what Musk is offering.