Mastodon (and the Fediverse) will take a long time to catch on as long as Twitter exists
I’ve written about my thoughts on ActivityPub as a protocol previously.
But I’ve been using and exploring Mastodon and Micro.blog to connect with and follow people on the Fediverse. I love the idea of decentralisation, and I’m very much for it.
In fact, I’m on Mastodon: @firstname.lastname@example.org. Edit: I’m no longer on Mastodon!
But – it really looks like Mastodon will take a long time to catch on as long as Twitter exists. Here’s why I think so:
1. Where is everyone?
It looks like Mastodon is currently promoted and used primarily by tech enthusiasts, and other folks disgruntled with Twitter – and their respective connections.
But it’s business as usual for the vast majority of people using Twitter, most notably government organisations, companies, public figures and news agencies.
So the everyday “civilian” is quite content on the platform and will never learn of the grievances of the people who left.
Let’s make something really plain for people who may think, or have been led to believe otherwise:
2. High barrier to entry
Even if Mastodon somehow got more popular, there are just too many instances to choose from for the average user, and they would eventually gravitate to the most popular option.
The average user doesn’t care about instances and communities. They care about reach. They view the whole world as a community and Twitter as a single instance everyone is on.
3. Twitter has everything
Twitter just checks all the boxes:
- Pick a username and start interacting with the whole world in one place
- Everybody’s already on it
- Reach millions of people organically or via paid ads
I just don’t see enough of an incentive currently for most people to “jump ship” unless there’s a major societal shift away from Twitter, or if Twitter implodes.
Until then, there’s always blogging!