Mastodon has amassed 2.5 million active users since Elon Musk took over Twitter

Mastodon and Twitter logo on distracted bf meme

Decentralized social media platform Mastodon is exploding in popularity recently. According to a new blog post by its founder and lead developer Eugen Rechko, the social media platform's user base jumped from 300,000 monthly active users to 2.5 million between the months of October and November (which also happens to be about the time when business magnate Elon Musk took over Twitter).

Rochko also discussed the now-reversed bans on sharing links to Mastodon in his blog. Last week, Mastodon's Twitter account was suspended after it shared a link to the newly registered Mastodon account of @ElonJet, an account broadcasting public flight path data of Elon Musk’s private jet. Concurrently, Twitter accounts of multiple journalists whom Musk accused of posting his "exact, real-time location" were suspended. Mastodon even received reports saying users were unable to tweet links to any Mastodon servers, including those unrelated to the @ElonJet account.

"This is a stark reminder that centralized platforms can impose arbitrary and unfair limits on what you can and can’t say while holding your social graph hostage," Rochko stated. "At Mastodon, we believe that there doesn’t have to be a middleman between you and your audience and that journalists and government institutions especially should not have to rely on a private platform to reach the public."

He also says that Mastodon's free and open-source software enables anyone to run a social media platform entirely on their own infrastructure and under their own control. "Not only does this allow organizations like the German government or the European Commission to run their own Mastodon servers where they publish important information that gets distributed to thousands of their followers across many different Mastodon servers, but it also gives you the freedom to choose a social media provider the same way you would choose a telephone, internet, or e-mail provider, and to move from one to the other while retaining your followers."

Mastodon is not the only social media platform seeing massive growth. According to marketing intelligence firm SensorTower, Tumblr recently saw its adoption surge by 96% in the US and 77% worldwide. Hive also reached one million users about a month ago.

Rochko says that he is optimistic about the future of Mastodon. "Understanding that freedom of the press is absolutely essential for a functional democracy, we are excited to see Mastodon grow and become a household name in newsrooms across the world." He concludes by saying that he and his team are committed to improving their software to face the challenges that come with rapid growth and increasing demand.

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