Who owns Mastodon? 'Twitter alternative' is new Liberal hotspot as Left flees Elon Musk platform
As of November, Mastodon has become home to 655,000 new users and is seen as the most 'promising' among Twitter alternatives
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: In the wake of the world's richest man Elon Musk taking over the social media giant Twitter, many users on the platforms have announced that they are officially opting out. Comedian Kathy Griffin, TV writer and producer David Slack, and film producer Jeremy Newberger have declared that they’re leaving Twitter in favor of a similar-looking ‘alternative’ Mastodon, according to Forbes.
Since the chaotic take-over, Musk has been trying to make constant changes that have outraged the public, resulting in some users migrating to new "Twitter alternatives" to leave updates about their daily musings. Benefiting from all this is none other than Mastodon, termed as the most 'promising' among the potential alternatives. The app gained 70,000 new users on the day Musk purchased Twitter. As of November, the platform has become home to 655,000 new users.
For people *actually* leaving Twitter in the midst of all the chaos, Mastodon appears to be emerging as an alternative social network. Wrote about it here: https://t.co/kjPMnxDb6p— Meera Navlakha (@meeranavlakha) November 4, 2022
Who owns Mastodon?
Mastodon is an open-source project launched by Eugen Rochko who was once a user of Twitter. The network is decentralized where users can post 'toots' as opposed to 'Tweets'. The first step while signing onto the app is to choose a server which is called 'instances'. The categories range from Technology, gaming, art, and many more. While this is what differentiates Mastodon from Twitter, it is also what turns many users away from exploring the site outside their chosen silos unlike Twitter that functions as a 'open' marketplace with all kinds of content. Lastly, Mastodon can never be sold as it does not require a huge amount to run and can be supported through sponsorships and donations, much like Wikipedia. It gives power to its users and is left-leaning, according to Mashable.
The platform tweeted about experiencing the highest rise in subscribers in the past week on November 3, 2022. Mastodon reported a 55% increase in users. However, the platform's 655,000 people are still less than 0.3% of Twitter's 238 million users. The app has also faced lags and downtime due to the sudden influx of people. Rochko has ordered new hardware following the bugs in the system. However, new users who get frustrated after facing the drawbacks for the first time, usually do not come back for a second try.
Twitter's new 'alternative'?
While Mastodon has a similar functioning to Twitter, it is more comparable to Reddit. Many Twitter users have posted about finding their new home on the social media platform. "I’m kinda liking Mastodon. @guardian has a great explainer on how to start," said Comedian Kathy Griffin in a tweet. Another user declared, "Don’t know if Mastodon’s actually the twitter replacement we’re looking for or if it just looks enough like Twitter to feel familiar but either way I’m https://mastodon.ie/@alanmaguire on there."
Don’t know if Mastodon’s actually the twitter replacement we’re looking for or if it just looks enough like Twitter to feel familiar but either way I’m https://t.co/WmX0hKUXgv on there— November Alan (@alan_maguire) November 4, 2022
#Twittermigration is currently trending on Twitter due to the users' dissatisfaction about the $8 verification charge on Twitter as well as the layoffs. A netizen tweeted, "I guess the “sink” took on a whole new meaning on Twitter today. Little did we know Elon meant he would sink Twitter in less than one week. Wild! #TwitterLayoffs #TwitterMigration #ElonTwitter #ElonsankTwitter"
I guess the “sink” took on a whole new meaning on Twitter today.— Aunt Ana (@Athena_1984) November 4, 2022
Little did we know Elon meant he would sink Twitter in less than one week. Wild! #TwitterLayoffs #TwitterMigration #ElonTwitter #ElonsankTwitter pic.twitter.com/2MiWzYS68x
According to Forbes, it is unlikely that Mastodon would be replacing Twitter anytime soon. But Mastodon could definitely pose as more than a replacement for the long-time Twitter users who are not happy with the changes and are are actively looking for a platform that works for them.
Rochko believes that his platform will gain more subscribers due to the ongoing changes on the bird app by Musk. "People who have been joining us there over the years have always referred to Twitter as the ‘hell site’. The solution isn't a copy of Twitter without Elon Musk. The solution is a different paradigm of social media," said the Mastodon founder.