Mastodon loses 30% of its active users after Twitter fears die down
Mastodon swept up a bunch of Twitter's users last year, but they're not sticking around
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Mastodon extinction?
🐘 Mastodon is having trouble keeping users
🐤 Many disgruntled Twitter users jumped to Mastodon last year
📉 But new data shows they’re not sticking around on the platform
😕 Possibly because it’s too confusing to use
Following Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, and the various changes to verification, monetization and moderation that followed, many disgruntled users were quick to search for greener social media pastures.
Micro-blogging platform Mastodon, an open-source riff on Twitter that features a big blue elephant as its mascot instead of a small blue bird, was quickly hailed as a replacement. Many flocked to it to escape what, some thought, was Twitter’s collapse. But it doesn’t look like Mastadon has enjoyed the success it had hoped for.
As first reported by The Guardian, Mastodon’s latest batch of user data shows the number of active users on the social media platform has fallen dramatically over the last month. In early December, Mastodon reportedly attracted over 2.2 million active users. By the end of the first week of January, that figure had dropped to just over 1.7 million – a fall of 30%.
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Not that Twitter necessarily needs users to return. While Mastodon was attracting a modest sum of new users in November last year, Twitter was also happily growing. Musk’s very public takeover of Twitter and the continuous media attention it generated spurred renewed interest in the platform for a time. In late November, Musk tweeted that new user signups had reached an all-time high, averaging over two million per day, up by more than 60% across the same period the year before.
As The Guardian points out, upticks in Mastodon’s user count tended to coincide with controversial decisions made by Musk, like removing the official Mastodon Twitter account and mentions of the competitor platform. But while despondent Twitter users may have been searching for an alternative platform, Mastodon doesn’t seem to have captured their attention.
“Right around that 5 November, it was a real opportunity,” said Meg Coffery, a social media strategist. “There were a lot of people who were scared, a lot of people who… didn’t want to be in the place Twitter was becoming.
“Everybody went and signed up [on Mastodon] and realized how hard it was, and then got back on Twitter and were like, ‘Oh, that’s, that’s hard. Maybe we won’t go there,’” she said.