- A new report released on Friday revealed that the #TwitterMigration shows no signs of slowing down.
- Amid Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, users are joining other social networks like Mastodon.
- Mastodon is growing by about 1.5 million new users per month, according to Dewey Digital.
A new report helps visualize the changes many Twitter users are facing as new and old social media platforms vie for their attention. The movement has been dubbed the #TwitterMigration, a hashtag referring to users moving to other online communities.
Twitter has always been chaotic, but it got even more chaotic amid Elon Musk’s turbulent takeover. Since Musk struck the $44 billion deal to buy the Bird app, he’s shared conspiracy theories, anti-Semitic rhetoric has spread fast, and users will soon have to pay $8 to be verified on the platform .
In response to his antics, users maintain their accounts and create new profiles elsewhere or move entirely to other social networks to share their thoughts.
The movement shows no signs of slowing down, according to a report released Friday by Dewey Square Group, a political consulting firm.
“If people leave, where do they go? »
Tim Chambers, director and project manager at Dewey Digital, the media arm of Dewey Square Group, told Insider that his team wanted to understand what exactly is driving the exodus.
“When I saw the recent events unfold with the Elon Musk purchase and the kind of chaos that followed on Twitter, it was really important for us to be able to see if people are leaving, where are going- they?” Chambers said.
Chambers’ team used data from Twitter and drew their conclusions based on users who added alternative social media accounts to their Twitter bio, public tweets from users asking people to follow them on different platforms social media and application downloads over the same period from October. November 24 to 22.
The group found that Mastodon – an app described as “a social network not for sale” by its website – continues to grow by around 1.5 million new users per month. Since Musk’s takeover, Mastodon account names have been added to the Twitter bios of more than 90,000 users and mentioned by users nearly 200,000 times in the past 30 days, according to Dewey Digital.
“It is by far the most of any emerging social platform,” the report said.
Mastodon was created in 2016 by Eugen Rochko, a German software developer. In an interview with Time Magazine, the 29-year-old said he started coding Mastodon after being angered by Twitter. “I thought being able to express myself online with my friends through short messages was very important to me, important to the world too, and maybe it shouldn’t be in the hands of just one company” , said Rochko.
The platform is an open-source, free social network that is decentralized, meaning there is not a single server, company, or person running it. “It was generally tied to a sense of distrust of top-down control from Twitter,” Rochko said.
On Nov. 6, Rochko announced — Mastodon’s version of the tweet — that the network had reached 1,028,362 monthly active users. “That’s pretty cool,” the founder said. Twitter has about 237 million users in total.
“It shows how easy it is for everyone to migrate to another platform”
Vanity Fair special correspondent and podcast host Molly Jong-Fast recently opted into the app in November. When asked how it compares to Twitter, she told Insider it’s “not as light and easy to use, but it’s $44 billion cheaper.”
“It shows how easy it is for everyone to migrate to another platform. I feel like that’s the lesson of Mastodon,” Jong-Fast said.
Jong-Fast has a million Twitter followers and said while she has no plans to quit the app, she will if Musk continues on the path he is on. In the days following Musk’s official takeover, online trolls flooded Twitter with more than 50,000 tweets containing the “N-word” and other forms of hate speech.
“I’d rather not support harmful causes, so as soon as there’s a good alternative, I’ll go there,” Jong-Fast said.
Adam Davidson, a writer and journalist, has owned Mastodon for four years but has started using it actively in recent weeks. He told Insider that Twitter brings out the worst in him and that he wants to explore other social networks. “Twitter basically monetizes engagement,” he said. “And I feel like this [Mastodon] is really conversation-oriented.”
—Adam Davidson @firstname.lastname@example.org (@adamdavidson) November 7, 2022
Davidson created a server on Mastodon just for journalists. The server has already passed 1,000 users, but Davidson has run into some complications. He told Insider that after creating the server, 184 trolls signed up and started spewing vile and hateful messages towards the group’s members. As an administrator, he was able to moderate the hate speech and block these users from posting.
Another challenge that arises is that some server admins approach it with concerns that they don’t want journalists scouring the social network for stories or sources, which frequently happens on Twitter.
“Historically, Mastodon has been a lot of academics, a lot of activists, and not a lot of journalists,” Davidson said.
While there were a few hiccups, Davidson said, overall Mastodon offers a number of benefits that Twitter doesn’t, such as access to people having expert conversations without hostility that normalized on the Bird app.
Dewey Digital will produce another report in the near future. Chambers told Insider that Twitter executives should monitor migration trends.
“I’m watching very, very closely, and I imagine the Twitter teams are as well,” Chambers said.
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