Mastodon growth slows after gaining millions of new users

Anne Freer | January 4, 2023

App Business

Mastodon, the German microblogging service that rivals Twitter, used to be relatively unknown. But ever since Elon Musk acquired Twitter and plunged the company into chaos, more people have been installing Mastodon on their mobile devices. So what’s happening? 

Interest in Mastodon spikes as Musk takes over

Back in November 2022, Mastodon had some 35,000 users. The app, created by Rodti MacLeary in 2019 as a decentralised, open-source social media platform, reached momentum when Elon Musk took over Twitter which sparked criticism and led to Musk even banning private user accounts. 

By December 2022, Mastodon had gone from 300,000 monthly active users to 2.5 million as users abandoned Twitter in favour of a more democratised platform. But can Mastodon sustain growth?

Mastodon growth slows

AppstoreSpy, the app market intelligence toolset for Android and iOS, recently shared data that concludes the hype surrounding Mastodon may be over. While daily Play Store installs of the app peaked at 185,000 during November, they had dropped at the end of the month and fluctuated at around 3,000 ever since. 

Mastodon downloads and revenues

Source: AppstoreSpy

Peaks of Mastodon downloads were linked to Musk’s tweets and statements. The majority of downloads came from Germany (20.5% for Apple devices and 31.8% for Android devices). A third of the app’s new Android users came from Germany, while 25% came from the US, Spain, France and Brazil. On the App Store, half of the downloads came from Germany, the US and China. 

Mastodon downloads by countries

Source: AppstoreSpy

Key takeaways

  • Mastodon installs reached momentum when Elon Musk took over Twitter but are linked to Musk’s statements and tweets.
  • Daily Play Store installs of the app peaked at 185,000 during November, but dropped at the end of the month and have fluctuated at around 3,000 ever since.
  • Majority of downloads came from Germany (20.5% of Apple devices and 31.8% for Android devices).

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