It's been amusing, watching conventional social media sites slowly implode over the past few months.
As a long-time
addict lurker of Reddit, having my favourite app get shut down over astronomically high API prices, and the subsequent mass-protest of some of the biggest subreddits on the platform was the kick in the pants that I needed to uninstall, touch some grass, and find something better to do other than just randomly doomscrolling when I should be doing something else (like, y'know...sleeping).
Twitter in turn has its chairman making changes in an attempt to keep the site afloat and make it profitable. It seems like every single change he's made has made things worse for the platform. In the latest debacle, he's decided to limit the number of posts you can view, and the current belief is that Twitter simply got rate-limited by their hosting provider.
Of course, it's got to be spun like a positive!
My interactions on Twitter were really limited. While I had a Twitter account, it didn't really get used and I found most of the content on the site to be either a bunch of shitposting by kids (of all ages) or entrepreneurs shouting business advice at each other. Lots of talking at people, not with people.
Mastodon on the other hand has been a breath of fresh air.
Sure, there's not nearly as many people on Mastodon and similar federated platforms than there is on Twitter (Mastodon's public analytics puts the current active user account at about 1.2 million users). I'm sure that helps rather than hinders. And I do think that some things like discoverability are hurt with the federated model. But at least within my small little circle on the platform I've had far more interaction than I ever did on Twitter, and all of it has been positive.
Will these platforms ever get mass adoption? I somehow doubt it. The lack of "virality" on Mastodon and Reddit alternatives discourages a certain user base from using the platform. And if you're used to TikTok or YouTube shorts or any other site that will feed you a deluge of short form content, Mastodon's quieter environment isn't going to light up those dopamine receptors like you might be used to.
Threads, on the other hand, has a huge opportunity to become a viable competitor in this space. Meta took advantage of the dumpster fire that Twitter currently is and effectively launched "Twitter but on Instagram". It's got all of the privacy-invasive things you
ignore love about Facebook in Twitter form, too!
I'll stick with Mastodon for now, thanks.