Twitter is still in a mess. While users and advertisers are annoyed by the chaos, the developers of the alternative app Mastodon are happy. The number of users there has doubled.
Since Elon Musk took over Twitter after a long back-and-forth, the media have reported daily on the chaotic conditions at the micro-blogging service.
But while some are annoyed, the German alternative service Mastodon is rejoicing. This is reported by both German and international media.
Mastodon user numbers double
As Mastodon founder Eugen Roschko writes in a post on the social media platform, the network has more than one million monthly active users:for the first time.
Hey, so, we hit 1,028,362 monthly active users across the network today. 1,124 new Mastodon servers since Oct. 27 and 489,003 new users. That’s pretty cool.
Mastodon is also becoming known outside of Germany
Moreover, as the news website Heise Online reports, it’s not just German users:inside that are turning to Mastodon. International bloggers are also apparently deciding against Twitter.
Interestingly, researchers in particular seem to be creating accounts on the social network from Germany. This is the result of a report in the US science magazine Science.
Scientists lose trust in Twitter
The mass redundancies on Twitter in particular are apparently a cause of concern for the scientific community. After all, the platform had previously played an important role in the dissemination of knowledge between research and the public.
By cutting entire teams, including employees who were responsible for combating misinformation, trust in the social media service is declining. Researchers apparently believe that reasonable discourse on the network may not be possible in the future.
Musk’s interpretation of free speech also goes too far for some scientists. They believe that his statements on this topic could be interpreted by some users as a relaxation of the norms for Twitter interactions.
Mastodon as a platform for public discourse
By opening a user account on Mastodon, researchers seem to want to escape the increasingly toxic atmosphere on Musk’s social media platform. ESA astronomer Mark McCaughrean is a case in point.
On some level, I’ve made the decision that I personally don’t want to support his ecosystem.
McCaughrean wants to use social media primarily to engage with fellow scientists, artists, journalists and the general public.
Twitter development unclear
Of course, Mastodon’s user numbers are not even close to those of Twitter. At the moment, the researchers in particular seem to be putting on their Mastodon handle only as a precautionary measure. They want to wait and see how the situation develops in the future.
However, if more people decide to switch to Mastodon or another alternative platform over time, it could soon become very quiet on Twitter.