Twitter Alternative Mastodon Sees Surge in Activity After Elon Musk Imposes Tweet Read Limits

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Turmoil at Twitter following new limits to the amount of posts users can see appears to be driving a surge in activity at Mastodon, a German rival that prides itself on its decentralised, user-driven structure.

“Looks like Mastodon’s active user base has increased by 110K (110,000) over the last day. Not bad,” Eugen Rochko, creator and chief executive of Mastodon, wrote on the platform late on Sunday.

“I would prefer it if Elon Musk was destroying his site during the work week. This isn’t the first time,” another post from Rochko read.

On Saturday, Twitter boss Elon Musk announced new limits on the number of posts accounts can read in a day. Previously, he had expressed displeasure with artificial intelligence firms like OpenAI, the owner of ChatGPT, for using Twitter’s data to train their large language models.

Musk took over Twitter in October 2022. Since then, his erratic management style has prompted some users and advertisers to turn away from the site.

Mastodon has similar features to Twitter but rather than being controlled by one company, it is installed on thousands of computer servers, largely run by volunteer administrators who join their systems together in a federation.

On Monday, marketing industry professionals said Musk’s move to temporarily cap how many posts Twitter users can read on the social media site could undermine efforts by the company’s new Chief Executive Linda Yaccarino to attract advertisers.

Yaccarino has sought to repair relationships with advertisers who pulled away from the site after Musk bought it last year, the Financial Times reported last week.

The limits are “remarkably bad” for users and advertisers already shaken by the “chaos” Musk has brought to the platform, Mike Proulx, research director at Forrester, said on Sunday.

© Thomson Reuters 2023


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