Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter was not without controversy: he reportedly fired hundreds of Twitter employees last Friday and began charging $7.99 per month for the tildes verification service.
Faced with user dissatisfaction, many began looking for alternative solutions. German musician Apparat, who has 43,100 Twitter followers, aired the possibility of switching to the decentralized social media platform Mastodon.
In addition to a record number of downloads of the Mastodon mobile app over the past weekend, the non-profit company announced a new milestone today.
In a post on Twitter – where Mastodon has successfully marketed its app to those considering leaving the service – it noted that 230,000 people have signed up for Mastodon in the past week alone.
Thanks to these new sign-ups and people returning to previously created accounts, the network now has 655,000 active users, according to the message.
This follows recent news that the open source network gained more than 70,000 new signups on Friday, Oct. 28, after Elon Musk acquired Twitter.
Between Friday and Sunday, Mastodon’s mobile app also saw some 91,000 new installs, according to Sensor Tower data, up 658% from 12,000 installs the previous three days.
Do you have a twitter backup plan yet? Mastodon? Honestly- I was ready to say goodbye long before the electric car narcissist got involved. I’d love to go somewhere else… ideas?
— apparat 🇺🇦 (@apparatofficial) November 2, 2022
Although Mastodon offers familiar features such as hashtags, replies, bookmarking and “boosting” (similar to retweeting), users of this ad-free, volunteer-run network have to choose a server to interact with other users on or off the same server. Each server can filter out unwanted content.
Following the drama of Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, it’s no surprise that Mastodon has surpassed one million monthly active users, according to its CEO and lead developer, Eugen Rochko, who revealed the news on Nov. 7. According to TechCrunch, half a million users have flocked to the Germany-based platform since Oct. 27.
Today DeSo, the Layer 1 blockchain powering content-rich decentralized social apps, has appointed former Meta and Pinterest executive Salil Shah as COO. DeSo raised a total of $200 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia, CAA, Coinbase and others.
Shah was most recently a senior director at Meta Fintech. Previously, he become chargeable for enterprise and company improvement, monetization at Pinterest and head of new business development at Google. Shah joins DeSo at a time while the emerging “decentralized social” class is beginning to expose signs of increase, with DeSo currently achieving month-on-month boom of 120%.
“This growth is pushed by DeSo’s ecosystem of hundreds of third-birthday celebration apps which are beginning to discover acceptance,” says DeSo founder Nader Al-Naji.
For example, Diamond, a blockchain-based Twitter-like app, and Desofy earned their creators more than $20 million in their early days thanks to new monetization primitives such as social tips, social NFTs and social tokens.
Meanwhile, tools like OpenProsper, a social block explorer, offer insight into the ecosystem. Other innovative applications are being launched such as Pearl, an Instagram3 website, NFTz, a decentralized NFT marketplace, and DAODAO, a social fundraising tool similar to Kickstarter.
DeSo, which recently listed on Coinbase, is on a mission to drive creator-centric social apps.
The platform’s new hire follows Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s recent statements that Twitter should be “an open source protocol” and Elon Musk’s recent purchase of Twitter.
Each Mastodon server is managed by a different person or organization and can set its own moderation policies. But users are not limited to communicating only with friends on their own server: you can find and follow your friends anywhere on the network.
However, it is possible to view the timeline feed of one’s own server and the broader, “federated” feed separately from the home feed of the people being followed. This is especially useful if the server you have joined is full of community members posting on topics of interest to you.
There are also several theme servers that will help you with this task. For example, some theme servers focus on areas such as technology, music, gaming, art, activism, LGBTQ+, food, etc., in addition to general servers for socializing. This allows everyone to find their niche.
In particular, decentralization is the direction taken by Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey with his new Bluesky social networking protocol, which already has more than 30,000 sign-ups on its pre-launch waitlist. In the coming days, a Bluesky mobile app will help people connect through the technology.
But the open source community – including those who have done the hard work on Mastodon for years – has been frustrated by the Silicon Valley executive’s decision to go his own way with Bluesky, rather than using established protocols like ActivityPub, which powers Mastodon and others.
It looks like users will soon have to choose which decentralized social networking future they want, or whether Twitter’s stock, regardless of ownership, is too attractive to be abandoned.
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