0xtero avatar

I'm not sure it failed.
I joined Mastodon in Apr 03, 2017 - but was never really very active because - well, there wasn't really much to be active with. It was ghost town. But it grew slowly and organically. Which was OK.

Then the big Twitter meltdown happened in Nov 22 and all of a sudden we got couple of million new users. There was a lot of adjustment, from new people and the old inhabitants. It wasn't very pretty (the whole CW debacle).

Many of those millions left and (presumably) went back to Twitter. But many stayed. The twitter InfoSec community is (mostly) on Mastodon now. Quite a lot of science-twitter is as well. We're far bigger place now than we were before 22.

Twitter didn't crash and burn (yet). People went back. But I don't think the migration failed. Some stayed and we're richer place for it.

But I agree with lot of the things in the post. Dealing with federation, quirky UI's, prototype services (hi kbin!) and other linuxesque peculiarities isn't what mainstream is looking for. The whole "just spin up your own fedi-server" might not be very sustainable/environmentally friendly compared to centralized well maintained datacenter. There are lot of problems to solve before fediverse is "mainstream ready".

But to be quite honest. I'm not sure it needs to be. Yes, I get that it's hard to "build following" without mainstream, but to be honest, I actually prefer more signal and less noise. And lot of the "mainstream" is just noise who follow popular accounts because they're popular.

FixedFun avatar

I still don't get why people wanna stay, all the toxic users get now top priority (a.k.a. people who pay for Twitter Blue) and they promote toxic tweets

Ignacio avatar

Because their favourite politician is there, because their favourite singer is there, because their favourite football player is there...

ZILtoid1991 avatar

Not for long. Some started to go to Mastodon, and I'm begging my favorite indie VTubers to make accounts on Mastodon even if they will still use Twitter.

bipolarmario avatar

I was just telling my wife this over coffee this morning. She had seen an article about reddit on BBC news and asked what the difference was between this move and twitter. And my response was exactly this.

princessofcute avatar

I think a lot of it too is people don't want to lean a new system. I've seen multiple big influencers on Twitter basically day they had no interest in using Mastodon because they didn't want to learn a new platform and so instead the begrudgingly keep using Twitter. People don't like change and will sometimes torture themselves to avoid it

Bloonface avatar

To an extent, influencers wouldn't get on with Mastodon anyway.

Looking at it charitably from their point of view, the discovery is so poor that actually building a following there is a huge amount of work they probably won't see a return on. It's a much smaller audience that in no small part resents even the idea of an "influencer" - someone who has that as their line of work is going to struggle and consider it not worth their time.

Looking at it less charitably, Mastodon does not reward activity on its own but instead things only get attention if they're actually worth attention, so carpet-bombing fedi with posts most people don't actually value is a waste of their time, and it's a lot more effort than such people would typically be willing to expend.

princessofcute avatar

That's understandable but I was more referring to influencers whose main profitability is elsewhere such as YouTube and they are using Twitter as a means of communicating with their audience/just post random life updates.

That being said are there influencers that actually make money from Twitter? I feel like Twitter has always been more of an engagement platform for influencers rather than a platform they actually make money off of

Bloonface avatar

Because all of the users they like and want to talk to stayed there too.

Network effects are a powerful driver. They can be overcome, but not easily.

Calcharger avatar

I can say why I didn’t stay: I was never a twitter user to begin with, and I tried to use mastodon when everyone tried to shift and I just didn’t like the format. Felt like work.


Indeed - I think people seem to have this ill-conceived notion that Twitter has to fail for Mastodon to succeed.

From my perspective, both are doing just fine. Mastodon has developed a community with, in my opinion, much higher quality discussion, and well, Twitter can keep being twitter.

That said, what I do think helps here is that Kbin has a much lower barrier to entry. I find it much easier to sign up on here than trying to determine which Mastodon instance to use and I think that helps tremendously.

Bloonface avatar

The thing that's interesting to me is this:

That said, what I do think helps here is that Kbin has a much lower barrier to entry. I find it much easier to sign up on here than trying to determine which Mastodon instance to use and I think that helps tremendously.

Kbin is technically federated and Kbin.social is technically just an instance on a federated network, the federation is just broken right now. But the simple fact of that not being a consideration, and everyone signing up on Kbin.social, has led to comments like this where "it's so much easier".

It rather proves my point; putting decentralised whatever front and centre makes things pointlessly complex and offputting to end users. They don't want to think about this shit, they just want to read stuff and post. The less they have to think about this shit, and/or the less this shit has an impact on their experience, the better for them.

LollerCorleone avatar

Being someone who is on Mastodon and also have to still be on Twitter for professional reasons, I consistently get way more engagement to my posts on Mastodon.

Plus, I have been able to build a larger following in Mastodon within a year than I was able to in Twitter in the eight years or so I have had an account there.

Anybody who expected Mastodon to simply become Twitter minus Elon Musk, was being naive and that didn't exactly happen. But as a platform on its own, Mastodon is a success. As a user, I consistently see more interesting content on Mastodon than Twitter or pretty much any other social media platform (except maybe Reddit till they decided to screw up).

Honestly, I would recommend everyone here who hasn't already to sign up to a Mastodon server in addition to Kbin.


Honest question, why? If you're already on kbin that is your account. What is the reason to have another separate account on mastodon?

Bloonface avatar

Not the person you're replying to, but if I want to use a Twitter-alike, I want to use a UI geared towards that. If I want to use a Reddit-alike, I want to use a UI geared towards that.

The idea of using Twitter to interact with a Reddit post sounds horrible, or Twitter to interact with YouTube (or YouTube to interact with Twitter!)

juergen_hubert avatar

I can understand these arguments, and yet...

I invested lots of time into Google+ and built up a following of 26,000 there. Then it closed down days before I started my Patreon campaign. Yes, I am still bitter about that.

Then I shifted my attention to Twitter. And then, last year, Elon Musk took it over.

I am done investing effort in corporate-owned social media sites that must inevitably follow the #Enshittification principle. No, Mastodon (and the Fediverse in general) did not absorb as many Twitter users as we hoped. Still, I think in the long run the Fediverse will grow, as corporate social media proves again and again that they cannot be trusted.

Bloonface avatar

I don't think Mastodon is as resistant to enshittification as everyone seems to think. Or rather, I think the drivers towards enshittification still exist - primarily, economic pressures relating to operational costs, and the human cost of managing communities - but because there is no actual revenue stream that can even potentially be gained from enshittification and the users won't tolerate anything that might amount to it, what winds up instead happening is that instances just close when their admins either run out of money or burn out. The service on instance X doesn't get "enshittified", it just ends.

aebrer avatar

This is a nice outcome though, since users can move to another server, bringing their followers and network with them. It also prevents long drawn out migrations like we see with twitter, because either you move on or you have nothing.

I mostly agree, it's not perfect, we're nowhere near the endgame yet. However even the situation you described would be better than now, where I can't bring my twitter followers anywhere with me.

CEbbinghaus avatar

I think the #1 problem is UI/UX. I think a Activity Pub based platform that gets its interface right allowing it to feel like one single coherent platform rather than a bunch of separate servers will win. So far I haven't found a single platform that lets me browse to any other platform or user & feel integrated.

CoffeeNerd avatar


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  • CEbbinghaus,
    CEbbinghaus avatar

    I mean you are welcome to enjoy a single platform such a kbin or mastodon by its lonesome without having to interact with the rest. I think its people listening to you or others joining & having growing pains that will find the critical improvements to make.

    Braggston08 avatar

    Nobody is forcing you to intermingle with other fediverse instances. But without that fedivers stuff it would be just the next digg/reddit/whatever service that goes the usual livecircle and ends up killing itself....

    kerr avatar

    Agreed. It feels very daunting to find content and magazines to subscribe to even here.


    I agree with this. The first platform to get discoverability between servers right will likely lead the way. It doesn't help that there's a double @ system for both users and subreddit equivalents. I think eliminating the first @ for users and using a different character for topics would simplify the system. For example, a user could be user@dom.ain just as in email, and subreddit like forum could be /topic@dom.ain (or @dom.ain but I'm not a fan of this one).

    Amongog avatar

    #kbin has managed to pike my interest.

    It's far from perfect and missing many features, but it does looks promising.
    The biggest drawback is the lack of mobile app yet. The mobile browser experience ain't bad though.

    Regarding the /topic@dom.ain example, it looks so much better than the bunch of @s we have now!

    CEbbinghaus avatar

    But the # symbol is already used for tags (as your message shows). So it becomes difficult to differentiate between tags & topics. Especially with platforms that use either/both for different things. kbin is pretty unique because it offers both microblogging & link aggregation which adds an additional layer of complexity.

    You could classify hashtags on other fediverse platforms as a sort of topic which one could subscribe to but how does that work with actual hashtags on kbin's microblogging. I think these kinds of decisions wont be made by a bunch of smart heads sitting together or chatting across fediverses platforms but rather some random developer that happens to be working on the one platform to get its UX down pat & break the mold.

    @spaduf@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

    One thing I haven't seen mentioned here is the effect that Mastodon have an opinionated dev team (in a refuses to implement certain features kind of way) had on wider adoption. Would things have been better with a platform more willing to listen to it's users?

    ZILtoid1991 avatar

    Twitter is dying. It won't go with a bang, but with a farce.

    As their service becomes more hostile and promotes more toxicity, more of them will leave the site eventually. First the infosec left, and now many artists are also begun to at least get a foot in the fediverse. And once the service will be even more hostile to them, they will leave too.

    Then will come all the other people until only the far-right conspiracy theorists and crypto scammers remain. By that time, it might even become a paid and very bad Mastodon instance due to downscaling.

    Kierunkowy74 avatar

    People don't care about decentralisation, but one of selling points of the Fediverse may be pretty similar to that: interoperability.
    IMHO, some separate but federated servers make sense for a newcomer more, than other. They are:

    • Flagship Mastodon server (for the "official blessing"),

    • Several very large Mastodon servers for niches - Infosec, FOSS and Gamedev communities already have got these (for best discovery of that niche communities and still good discovery of out-niche content - thanks to size),

    • At least one national Mastodon server in your language - of course open to registration - Japanese, British, German, Italian, French, Dutch, Canadian, Australian, Chinese are the largest, but any language-specific will satisfy the user (for best discovery of content in their languages or from regions - helped by language barreer),

    • Some largeish Mastodon instances with specific political leanings - anarchist, far-right and libertarian ones are the largest (for better-tailored moderation, and also for discovery),

    • Flagship/largest instances of other Fediverse software, such as Akkoma, Lemmy, /kbin, Bookwyrm, Misskey, Calckey, Pixelfed (for features of their software, being their advantages over Mastodon)

    • Some national instances of Lemmy, /kbin, Bookwyrm, Misskey, Calckey, Pixelfed in your language (combined language and feature reasons),

    • Few Lemmy instances with specific political leanings - communist and far-right ones (combined moderation and feature reasons).

    We do not have to talk about "decentralised" insert app name here network, but we can rather promote "Large Infosec-oriented microblog which interoperates with entire of rest of Mastodon", "German Reddit-alternative aggregator which interoperates with fedi", "A combined aggregator and microblog instance, compatible both with Lemmy and Mastodon", "Anarchist social network with access to much of fedi", "Mastodon-compatible microblog with fancy formatting", or "Instagram-equivalent with access to Mastodon but larger photo limits per post, and filtres", etc.

    This interoperability means, that any new and sufficiently promoted (or simply receiving another Great Migration) server can claim over 1 million Mastodon&co users as the potential audience.

    If you were already present on both Reddit and e.g. Facebook, and recent events forced you to switch from Reddit to /kbin or Lemmy, then you started to be on the Fediverse. And any your friend from Facebook started to be able to contact with you on the Fediverse, should they switch.
    If you were present previously only on Facebook and Twitter, and you friend was only on Facebook and Reddit, then, after Twitter and Reddit Migrations, both of you began to be able to talk to each other, without the need of Facebook!
    Every great migration to the Fediverse sows the seed. Sooner or earlier, all your friends will be present on fedi, and the network effects will begin to work to the advantage of fedi, not against it.

    rasterweb avatar

    It did not fail. Plenty of people left Twitter for the Fediverse.


    You need to define "failed" before you attempt to qualify/quantify. It changed the playing field. I've never been active on social media before I found my mastodon community. The normies will always be on Twitter, the way there are still some on AOL.

    52fighters avatar

    IMO having a good search function that searches across the ENTIRE fediverse would go a long way. Not having this good search function makes it hard to find content.

    Kierunkowy74 avatar

    Lemmy has lemmy.directory, which tries to follow every Lemmy community and provide view comparable to r/all.
    PeerTube creators (Framasoft) have made SepiaSearch, which indexes several hundreds PeerTube instances.
    They obviously made the same utility to search events and groups across umpteen Mobilizon instances.

    This proves that the "global" search on the fediverse is possible.

    FreeBooteR69 avatar

    I don't think there was a failure, there's like 10 million users more than there used to be in just a few months. The more these social media companies fuck over their users, we'll keep seeing the waves come crashing in.


    Active users are much lower. People made accounts then didn't stick around.

    olrik avatar

    Yeah this author does ramble a lot. Nothing seems to come out of it though, like a never ending bingo. Fuck that shit.

    Haunting_Tale_5150 avatar

    Honestly, in some ways I don't think it did fully fail. I have a few twitters I keep tabs on via RSS and all of them became less active since Musk took over. The replies in the comments became more outwardly toxic than they were beforehand. While I am not sure if migrating to Mastodon specifically was very successful, I think Twitter hasn't been quite the same since the Musk buyout.

    But I never used twitter besides lurk, so ymmv there.


    Could not agree more with just about every point this guy makes. I honestly think that federated services just do not work for some use cases. Primarily, social media. Kbin is working great as a replacement because it is far more centralized. The majority of the content is here, and the integration with the broader fediverse is a bonus.

    I've been using Linux and FOSS for as long as i can remember. But decentralized services are not the be all end all solution that the FOSS community always seems to think it is.

    vaguerant avatar

    The majority of the content is here, and the integration with the broader fediverse is a bonus.

    I think this is a bit of an illusion that you're seeing as a result of federation being broken currently. I doubt kbin is the largest player in the entire link aggregation side of the Fediverse, but because federation isn't working at the moment, we're only seeing things that are posted here. Once kbin is working as intended, you'll start seeing content from all over the place and local content will probably be a minority.

    zerkrazus, (edited )

    IMO, on Mastodon for example, most people don't understand federation and don't care about it. It sounds scary and complicated to them. And also in Mastodon's case at least, it's still extremely difficult IMO, to find people/sites/etc. to follow about topics you care about. You still, AFAIK, can't search by posts which is just dumb, IMO (at least on the instance/server) I'm on.

    The whole pick an instance/server thing also confuses people. Most people don't care about that and don't even need to know TBH. Just auto-assign them to the most popular one and those who care about such things can manually pick their own.


    discovering content thats outside the current instance has been big problem tbh, tools and ux for this has to improve further

    one thing that would help is communities adding links to similar communities in their descriptions

    vanderbilt avatar

    It logins could somehow be federated it would solve the whole instancing issue but it’s far easier to state the idea than I imagine the execution would be.

    HeartyBeast avatar

    You search on . This is a deliberate feature which lets posters decide whether any individual post they make should be searchable


    I know you can do that, but personally I don't care for that. IMO, that feels like forcing people to use hashtags and sometimes I don't want to use them.

    cyberian_khatru avatar

    The whole pick an instance/server thing also confuses people.

    Yeah, and there's more than one reason to recommend the bigger instances. As the article points out, it's the most reliable way to get exposed to the largest variety of users and other instances. This was fairly standard advice when I joined way back in 2018: "just join the main one. figure out who to follow and what servers you like. when you start feeling comfortable, you can move your profile to the server you want."
    And that's what I did before settling in elekk.


    You're right, but it's not just most people on Mastodon. Most people don't understand or care about federation. I'm fairly tech savvy and I didn't know that until 15 minutes ago I could see kbin microblogs on Mastodon if I wanted. It's a feature that most tech-savvy users think is cool and 95% of normal people will find overly convoluted.

    Most people just want to know where to follow Ariana Grande or Adam Schefter.


    Yep, that's true of the Fediverse in general. Most people don't care about all of that. They just want to follow and interact with people/brands/etc. they like.

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