Mastodon wants to replace Twitter without looking like Twitter
Mastodon refused to accept investments from venture capitalists. To dethrone giant Twitter, the social network plans to stay true to its decentralized strategy… while launching a new project.
Since Elon Musk took the reins at the helm of Twitter, Mastodon has experienced a resurgence in popularity. Taking advantage of the billionaire’s controversial decisions, the decentralized platform registered more than 2.5 million new users last month.
The success of the platform has attracted the attention of investors. According to our colleagues from Financial Timesreceived by Eugen Rochko, the creator of Mastodon more than five investment offers from venture capital firms located in Silicon Valley.
These investors want to inject ” hundreds of thousands of dollars in the social network », which presents itself as one of the main alternatives to Elon Musk’s Twitter, Rochko explained. In exchange for the funds, the investors wanted to get an equity stake in the Mastodon company.
Mastodon refused to fall under the control of shareholders
The German developer rejected all offers. True to his ideals, Eugen Rochko insists that Mastodon’s non-profit status is ” untouchable”. He wants the social network to stay independent of potential shareholders. For the programmer, it is also one of the assets that attracts Internet users who failed to hire Elon Musk.
“Mastodon won’t be everything you hate on Twitter. The fact that it can be sold to a controversial billionaire, the fact that it can be closed, bankrupt, etc. This is the difference in paradigms between platforms”said Eugen Rochko.
Unlike Twitter, Mastodon is open-source and decentralized. The platform consists of a constellation of servers, managed directly by Internet users. Mastodon operates several of these servers, including the most popular, mastodon.social. The latter has 881,000 users, including 210,000 active users. Faced with server success, Mastodon was forced to close registrations a few days ago.
The social network does not make money from advertising or the personal data of its members. Currently, Eugen Rochko is mainly paid through his patreon account, which has more than 8,500 donors. Thanks to the crowdfunding site, the developer currently receives more than $30,000 per month. Before Elon Musk took over Twitter, he only made $7,000, Rochko explained in an interview with TechCrunch.
The sole shareholder of Mastodon, the computer specialist was paid an average of €2,400 per month last year. From the success of the social network, Rochko grew to a monthly income of 2,900 euros. The rest of the money is injected directly into the company. In particular, it purchased several computer servers due to the growth in the number of users. Because of this increase in income, Mastodon also plans toexpand the full-time team. Today, it consists of Rochko and five part-time freelancers.
Also read: Twitter creator launches BlueSky Social… an alternative to Twitter
A hybrid approach
Although he is very attached to the Mastodon’s independence, Rochko plans to opt for a hybrid model in the near future. He compared the approach to Mozilla, where ” the non-profit organization will continue to work on the core product, which will remain open source”while a commercial enterprise is starting sustainable server hosting. He explained that he tried to talk to several venture capitalists about this hosting idea, but they were more interested in Mastodon than the hosting offer.
“Venture capital won’t help us. We’re not going to get them into the core product under any circumstances. So yeah, we’ll probably have to go in with an angel investor, or just do some crowdfunding.”Rochko continued.
By shielding Mastodon from venture capital, the developer aims to dethrone Twitter. Against the steps of Elon Musk, it is no secret that Rochko wants to replace the social network and all centralized platforms, such as Facebook or Instagram. Lucid, he said he knew the ” long passage » to impose Mastodon on the general public.