Home Technology Musk takeover sees boom in social media alternatives with Mastodon leading the herd 
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Musk takeover sees boom in social media alternatives with Mastodon leading the herd 

by uma


  • Mastodon lands 380,000 new Android users since 27th October – bringing lifetime downloads to 493,000
  • Twitter Android downloads rise to 446,000 per day post-Musk takeover versus estimated 349,000 pre-takeover
  • Alt social media apps Tribel and Truth Social gain 24,000 and 87,000 Android users respectively since Musk’s Twitter takeover

An analysis by app marketing and analytics platform App Radar has revealed how Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter has caused a surge in Google Play downloads for other social media apps. 

Mastodon, the open-source software for running self-hosted social networking services, has experienced a rise of 380,000 users since the announcement of Musk’s takeover on 27 October 2022 until 8 November 2022. That accounts for 77% of the app’s lifetime downloads on Google Play which now stands at 493,000. 

Truth Social, the alternative social media app created by Trump Media, has gained 87,000 Android users since Musk’s takeover, bringing its lifetime Android user total to 413,000. Tribel, the free social media network that claims to be a “kinder, smarter social network”, has gained 24,000 users in the period 27 October to 8 November, bringing its lifetime Android user total to 137,000. 

Since Musk’s takeover, Twitter has gained an estimated 5.8 million Android users with an average of 446,000 daily downloads on Google Play. The daily average is slightly higher than the pre-takeover figures of 349,000 average daily downloads on Google Play in the third quarter of 2022. Twitter’s monthly Android app downloads remain constant at an average of 11.7 million downloads per month in the period July – October 2022. 

Thomas Kriebernegg, Managing Director and Co-Founder, App Radar, said: “Since Elon Musk took over Twitter there has been a lot of speculation on how this will impact user growth. There hasn’t been an exodus from Twitter that some people predicated, nor has there been a huge boom. Download numbers have trended higher, but this rate of growth is not unprecedented for Twitter this year and it remains to be seen if these numbers will be sustained. 

“Alternative social sites have gained plenty of attention recently and this has translated to a noticeable surge in downloads. However, despite Mastodon’s impressive week, we have to put this growth into context – Twitter acquires more users in 48 hours than Mastodon has in its entire lifetime of operation. 

“The long term trends for Twitter and sites like Mastodon will be very interesting to watch. Social media has a history of incumbents rapidly losing their seemingly dominant position to upstarts in a relatively short space of time. Mastodon certainly offers a different take on social media but it is a long way from reaching the point where its user base is significant enough to be considered a serious rival to Twitter.”


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