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Mastodon is exploding while Twitter falls apart

A large number of users have joined Mastodon, a relatively obscure social network, in the week since Elon Musk gained control of Twitter. 

Mastodon has been around since 2016, yet its popularity is just increasing. As the increasingly popular social network experiences layoffs, controversial product changes, an expected shift in its approach to content moderation, and an increase in offensive speech, some users are leaving for it or at least looking for an alternative site to publish their ideas online. 

No platform is as dynamic, text-heavy, conversational, and news-oriented as Twitter. A particular itch, though, is satisfied by Mastodon. Like Twitter, the site presents users with a timeline of brief updates that are shown in reverse chronological order as opposed to using an algorithm.

Users can sign up for several independent servers rather than relying on a centralized service like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. 

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Mastodon, in contrast to more popular social networks, does not charge its users anything and does not bombard them with advertisements. Mastodon founder Eugen Rochko runs the non-profit organization responsible for its development.

According to an interview Rochko gave on Thursday, Mastodon had acquired 230,000 subscribers since October 27, when Musk took control of Twitter. According to him, there are currently 655,000 monthly users. In July, Twitter said it had approximately 238 million daily active users who might be potentially targeted for advertising. 

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Rochko initially designed Mastodon as more of a project than a consumer product. However, he acknowledges that “it is the biggest that this network has ever been” (and, yes, its name was inspired by the heavy metal band Mastodon). 

Who is signing up for Mastodon? 

Kathy Griffin, an actor and comedian, and Molly Jong-Fast, a journalist and one of Twitter’s most followed users, joined Mastodon in early November and late October, respectively.

I felt like a complete social media newbie at first. As Roberts noted, the iOS app is straightforward and looks and functions like Twitter. 

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Mastodon has less than 100 followers, unlike Twitter, where I can easily communicate with a vast audience. I had no clue what to publish, a sensation that seldom bothers me on Twitter, maybe because its enormity makes each message seem less critical. Mastodon’s smaller size is soothing compared to Twitter’s constant stimulus.

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