In the midst of the chaos surrounding Twitter, open-source and decentralized social networking platform Mastodon has been experiencing significant growth. According to the company’s annual report, Mastodon has seen a staggering 488% increase in donations, totaling €325.9K (approximately $341,985 USD). This is a significant jump from the previous fiscal year’s donations of €55.6K.
Mastodon, an open-source and decentralized social networking platform, has experienced impressive growth amid the chaos surrounding Twitter. The company saw a significant increase in donations, reaching €325.9K, and attracted 1.8 million monthly active users. Mastodon’s commitment to user-friendliness and expansion, along with ongoing support from its user base, positions it as a notable alternative to Twitter.
The Rise of Mastodon
Mastodon, a non-profit organization that operates as a Twitter alternative, has seen a surge in support from its user base. Unlike investor-backed startups, Mastodon relies on user donations, primarily from Patreon. Last year, Mastodon’s supporter base grew to 9,603, a remarkable 1,614% increase from the previous year.
Notably, the surge in Mastodon support came immediately after Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter in October. In the month following the acquisition, Mastodon saw a 6x increase in the number of donors on Patreon, jumping from 1,428 to 7,962. The number of donors via Stripe also increased from 19 to 44.
However, despite the increase in the number of donors, the average annual donation decreased to around $35.70 USD, as more donors contributed smaller amounts.
Financial Allocation and Support
Mastodon utilized the funds from donations to support various expenses in its operations. This includes covering operating costs amounting to €127.1K ($133.5K USD), personnel expenses totaling €79.7K ($83.7K USD), and other miscellaneous expenses amounting to €6.4K ($6.72K USD).
In addition to user donations, Mastodon founder Eugen Rochko benefitted from an open-source fund provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Open Knowledge Foundation, contributing €18.6K ($19.5K USD). The non-profit foundation NLnet also contributed €42.8K ($44.95K USD) to support the development of internet technologies.
Expansion and Future Plans
Mastodon aims to establish a U.S. non-profit branch this year, enabling it to become eligible for larger grants from U.S.-based donors and allowing contributors to make tax-deductible donations. The company also plans to continue expanding its merchandise efforts, which started with the sale of stickers, tees, mugs, and pins earlier this year. The revenue generated from merchandise sales was not disclosed in the report.
Furthermore, Mastodon is committed to improving user-friendliness and plans to enhance moderation tools for server operators to address issues of spam and abuse. The company recently released version 4.2, which included significant updates aimed at making the service more accessible, especially for newcomers.
Growing User Base
Mastodon’s growth has been evident as it has garnered a large user base. By the end of 2022, Mastodon’s network had expanded to 9,686 servers, with 5.8 million registered users and 1.8 million monthly active users. On its own two servers, Mastodon boasted 117K active accounts, representing a 37% retention rate.
However, Mastodon’s user metrics have fluctuated in response to Elon Musk’s announcements about new Twitter policies and changes. Currently, the platform reports 1.7 million monthly active users, slightly lower than the peak of 2.5 million users when Musk acquired the social network.