Open source and decentralized social network Mastodon has more users than it thought. The service, which competes with X (formerly Twitter) and other newcomers like Threads, Bluesky, Pebble and Spill, had been undercounting its users due to a network connectivity error, according to founder and CEO Eugen Rochko, and actually has 407,814 more monthly active users than it had been reporting previously. The adjustment also included a gain of 2.34 million registered users across an additional 727 servers that had not been counted due to the error.
The issue was impacting the metrics reported on Mastodon’s statistics aggregator on its joinmastodon.org/servers page, which had been undercounting users between October 2 and October 8. This issue has now been resolved, Rochko said. That leaves Mastodon with a total of 1.8 million monthly active users at present, an increase of 5% month-over-month and 10,000 servers, up 12% — a testament to Mastodon’s current upward swing at a time when the nature of X continues to remain in flux.
The latest disruptive move by X owner Elon Musk has seen the company remove headlines from link previews on the platform for aesthetic reasons and to keep users on the site instead of clicking away. The move has angered publishers, some of which suggested they would scale back on posting to X given the declining traffic the network was sending their way as of late. Prior to that, Musk announced he was planning to charge all users a small fee to use X, though it’s unclear how serious his statements were as CEO Linda Yaccarino didn’t seem to be aware of his ideas when asked during an interview. Later, Yaccarino told X debt holders that the company would introduce three tiers of payment plans for the network in an effort to grow revenues. And now, X has been discovered to be running clickbait ads that users can’t block.
That bodes well for Mastodon’s and other competitors’ potential to carve off a few more users from X’s larger user base if they get fed up with the changes. However, in Mastodon’s case, the network still remains quite small compared to X. The latest figures from X indicate the company is seeing 500 million posts per day, including original posts, replies, quotes and reposts. And despite a decline, the company still has 245 million daily active users.