As Twitter continues to descend into a general state of chaos and its users jump ship on mass, an unusual victor is emerging — Mastodon.
The German social media site has gained 230,000 users since Musk's acquisition of Twitter, and its growth isn't showing any signs of slowing down.
What Is Mastodon?
Mastodon was founded in 2016 by German software developer Eugen Rochko. Unlike Twitter, Facebook, Reddit or any other popular social media site, Mastodon is a nonprofit, meaning that, ideally, its goal is to benefit the public, rather than shareholders.
Mastodon might look like a Twitter clone at first glance, but the underlying system behind the microblogging platform is far more complex. The service is decentralized (no, not in a blockchain way), describing itself as a “federated network which operates in a similar way to email.”
Should brand jump from Twitter to Mastodon?
Many social network-killers have come and gone over the years. Mastodon’s numbers are tiny and I don’t see that it offers enough to convince the vast majority to switch.
Clearly some feel strongly that they need to leave Twitter. But is Mastodon really the answer? It’s certainly not a place for brands, at least, for now, and feels more akin to Reddit and its subreddit community structure.
Ownership is the first area to explore. Mastodon is a decentralised platform. This means it can’t be bought, sold or owned by any one person or entity.
But it does also mean things can change on a whim, servers can just be closed down. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey is also apparently working on a new decentralised network - BlueSky, so it shows there’s a clear trend here.
People are clearly concerned about Musk’s ownership of Twitter. So, he needs to demonstrate a collaborative nature that keeps the community at the heart of the platform’s development.
This is important for brands, too. Everyone remembers when algorithmic changes caused chaos for existing brand social strategy. Brands need to know that the time, effort and resource they have put into a platform is safe for the future.