Mastodon app downloads jump more than 6,000% after Musk takes over Twitter

Anne Freer | November 9, 2022

App Business

Downloads of Mastodon skyrocketed by over 6,000% globally after Elon Musk took over Twitter. In light of controversy, it seems users are turning away from Twitter and looking for alternative platforms. 

What’s happening on Mastodon?

Mastodon is a free, open-source app and online platform that touts itself as a Twitter alternative. It shares some features with Twitter, but there are many differences.s For example, on Mastodon, users can create their own networks and set and enforce their own regulations. Mastodon does also not serve content to users based on interest but chronologically. And the app doesn’t host ads. 

Downloads of Twitter alternative Mastodon skyrocket

Source: eMarketer

The app had one million monthly users as of November 6th, with 489k of them joining in October. Searches for it increased 283% during October and November. 

What’s driving the flux away from Twitter appears to be a user revolt over Musk’s plans to make verification a paid feature and other controversies.

Mastodon searches are up in November

Source: Financial World

Twitter is still going strong

However, Twitter is still the seventh most-downloaded app on app stores in the US with downloads at around 526k to 636k during early November. 

Compared to Mastodon’s one million monthly active users, Twitter boasts 368.1 million globally in 2022. eMarketer predicts Twitter’s user base to drop 0.5% to 57.5 million this year. 

Other alternatives

Mastodon faces several hurdles in becoming a viable competitor to Twitter. The platform is fairly unfamiliar in its user interface. And marketers are unlikely to support it since there’s no existing advertising infrastructure. 

But Mastodon isn’t the only viable alternative to Twitter. Social apps such as Substack, Discord, Gas and Geneva are all seeing user growth. Bluesky, an app to be launched by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, saw searches increased by 207% and already has some 30k users on waitlists. 

Key takeaways

  • Mastodon downloads increased over 6,000% globally after Elon Musk took over Twitter
  • Monthly users rose by almost 500k in October/November 2022
  • Searches of Mastodon up 283% 

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