Mastodon Downloads Down 99% From Mid-November Peak

Back in November, following Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, we covered the meteoric rise of the federated social network Mastodon, which established itself as the preferred landing spot for disaffected Twitter users.

Today, to see where Mastodon currently stands, we analyzed a handful of the most popular associated iOS and Android apps. These include Mastodon, Metatext, Tusky, Toot!, tooot, Tootle, Mastoot, Subway Tooter, and more.

Here’s what we found (click the links to jump to the relevant sections):

The chart above depicts daily global downloads for 19 of the most popular apps related to Mastodon. In particular, this chart tracks the period between November 1st, 2022 and February 15th, 2023.

The apps are: Mastodon (iOS, Android), Tusky (Android), tooot (iOS, Android), Megalodon (Android), Ivory (iOS), Tootle (iOS), Mast (iOS), Ice Cubes (iOS), Linky (iOS), Mercury (iOS), Mastoot (iOS), Fedilab (Android), AndStatus (Android), Subway Tooter (Android), Twidere (Google Play), Metatext (iOS), and Toot! (iOS).

In total, these apps have been downloaded 6,711,031 times since November 2022, shortly after Musk finalized his acquisition of Twitter. However, the bulk of these downloads occurred in the month of November, with a small surge in December.

Since then, things have dropped off significantly. Check it out…

While the Mastodon-related apps we analyzed were generating upwards of 300,000 downloads per day at their peak, they’ve since fallen to approximately 5,000 combined downloads.

Indeed, on their best single day (November 19th, 2022), they were downloaded 447,316 times. On February 14th, 2023, however, they were downloaded just 4,796 times. That’s a decrease of 98.9% in just four months.

Their Top Chart Rankings Are a Mixed Bag

Unsurprisingly, declining downloads have translated to poor chart performances. Of the 19 Mastodon apps we analyzed, just six remain in their respective category-specific rankings.

Indeed, as of Monday, Fedilab (Android), Toot (iOS), and Mast (iOS) were ranked in the top 100, while Linky (Android), Mastodon (Android), and Tusky (iOS) fell just outside of the top 100.

Not terrible, but not exactly inspiring results.

Final Thoughts

Mastodon is a tough social network for one to get their arms around. Due to its distributed nature, pinning down precise usage and performance insights is a little more complex than it is for a more centralized network like Twitter.

That said, while Mastodon hasn’t achieved the critical mass necessary to establish itself as a legitimate threat to Twitter, it’s nevertheless one of the platform’s strongest new competitors. The roughly six million downloads generated by the iOS and Android versions of Mastodon mean it’s well ahead of rivals like Gab, GETTR, Truth Social, and Parler.

That said, as we noted in our previous article, if Mastodon wants to establish itself as a true counterpoint to Elon Musk’s latest project, it needs to avoid the mistakes of its forerunners. While fashioning itself as a refuge for Musk critics might juice downloads, they’ll need more than that if they want to build a robust community.

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