Mastodon was all the craze when Elon Musk took over Twitter, but its growth has not just slowed in the past several weeks but has actually declined. The monthly active users are now at about 1.4 million after reaching 2.5 million users in November 2022.
The growth and decline. Wired published a great chart showing the growth and decline of Mastodon over the past several months.
Why the decline. That is a good question, and many suspect that Mastodon, being a decentralized platform, is just too hard for the normal user to set up and use. Sure, there is a pretty active SEO community on Mastodon, but even that community seems to be less active today than it was a month or two ago.
The truth is, once you set it up and start using it, it is not hard to use. You just need to know how to find people on the platform, and the best way might be hashtags.
However, most users want to lurk and follow their favorite personalities on a platform. Finding people on Mastodon is hard, very hard, and you first need to find out what server that user is on and then search for that person’s username and server name. It is confusing and frustrating for the average user.
Why we care. Participating in social networks is time-consuming, and if you are active on those networks, you want to see a return on your investment. Maybe that return is friendship, and maybe it is engagement, maybe it is views on your content, maybe revenue or maybe something else.
If the people have a hard time finding you on a network and your reach is limited, is it worth investing your time on that platform? Seems like recent data says no.