Can Mastodon Survive?

Every few years a Twitter clone comes along that tries to steal some of the company’s thunder. We’ve seen countless services like App.net and Micro.blog. But recently one seems to be picking up traction. That service is called Mastodon. Mastodon is structurally different from Twitter and much more complicated under the hood. It raises the post limit to 500 words, positioning it as a more powerful microblogging platform. Mastodon feels just like Twitter though and that’s both good and bad.

Twitter is in the middle of a major crisis that encompasses many different issues from protecting Nazis and white supremacists to just outright killing major features for popular third party clients that made the platform what it is today. Now is the perfect time for a well designed Twitter alternative to swoop in and steal some users in order to grow. Mastodon has been the talk of the town lately and I’ve noticed an increase in usage. But since the service isn’t much different from Twitter, there aren’t many reasons to stick with Mastodon. I think that Mastodon’s success is reliant on whether or not these Twitter crises blow over or not. If Twitter refuses to change, it will continue to decline and alternative services will continue to grow.

Mastodon isn’t superior to Twitter, but it also isn’t really any worse. It has the ability to succeed, it just needs users. Once communities move over to the service, it will begin to flourish. Right now it’s mainly tech communities that have begun to bloom on the site, but that’s expected for early adoption. So we’ll just have to wait and see where Mastodon is in a month.