Firefox and Tumblr join the rush to support Mastodon’s social network

Elon Musk’s messy Twitter fall has produced one clear winner: Mastodon, the open-source social network, has now grown to 2.5 million users — grabbing ground for space on it from groups including browser makers, cryptocurrency advocates, and other social networks. .

Despite Twitter CEO’s best efforts to disparage the competing platform, Mastodon has grown by more than 800%, according to its founder and lead developer, Eugene Roshko, who said Tuesday it had jumped “from about 300,000 monthly active users to 2.5 million.” Between October and November, as more and more journalists, political figures, writers, actors, and organizations move.”

Over the weekend, Musk briefly blocked all links to the rival service and suspended users who tweeted their Mastodon usernames, but he has now admitted that the apparent move to prevent Twitter users from migrating was a mistake. “That was a mistake,” Musk said in a Twitter Live with a former intern Tuesday night, adding: “Fucking mastodon all day long, I don’t care. From an evolutionary standpoint, how does that work with mastodons?”

Mozilla, developer of the popular Firefox browser, seems to disagree, joining the rush to establish a presence on the platform. On Tuesday it announced that it would start running an “instance” of Mastodon, one of the decentralized servers on which the social network relies.

said Steve Teixeira, chief product officer at Mozilla, which is owned by the nonprofit.

He added, “We are living the consequences of 20 years of corporate-controlled centralized social media, with big tech oligopolies tightening their grip on the public square.” “In private hands, our choice is limited, toxicity is rewarded, anger is called engagement, public trust is eroded, and basic human decency is often an afterthought. Moving from the internet to the internet we want will be a heavy burden.”

Elon Musk, who briefly blocked links to Twitter competitor Mastodon, has admitted it was a mistake. Photo: Reuters

A Mastodon instance is like an email service provider: all users must join one instance, but they can communicate with other users once they join. Currently, two of the most popular examples are run by Rochko, with many smaller examples run by hobbyists, but there is no Gmail equivalent—a large company runs a free, popular instance that becomes the default choice for the service.

However, Mastodon is also compatible with a wide range of communities using a technology called ActivityPub, which allows all services such as photo sharing, podcasts, and social networks to share content with each other.

Tumblr, which was founded shortly after Twitter and was owned by Yahoo! And Verizon, before selling it to WordPress Automattic developers, will start supporting the technology in the near future, according to founder Matt Mullenwegg. Tumblr is also “handling waves of users right now,” but will add “interoperability and ActivityPub support ASAP.”

Corporate money is flowing directly into Mastodon, too. Pawoo.net, a large Mastodon instance based in Japan with 800,000 users, has been acquired by crypto startup Social Coop, which operates a cryptocurrency-based “web3 social network” called Mask, with $50 million in funding. The company already runs two other versions of Mastodon, Mastodon.cloud and mstdn.jp.

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