By that I mean do you expect it to take up one day? if so, when ? thanks to what?

I have been watching a number of projects, and the one I would expect to gain a significant user base is PeerTube, it is showing a healthy growth rate! then maybe lemmy, and pixelfed!

Mastodon and Diaspora* have hit a plateau. with the last one even losing users and bleeding engagement.

What are your prognostics ?

Anticapitalist Projects Not Experiencing Capitalist Infinite Growth

are they dying?

I agree with you about Diaspora*. I just don’t think it is designed well. I think mastodon, thank god, kicked off the trend of actually designing fediverse projects well.

I haven’t followed mastodon growth lately, but I’m optimistic. It saw a wave of migration from indian politics twitter people last I had checked. I hope that more and more people make it their own.

What I think is critical is to NOT expect instant, meteoric growth. I think this stuff takes time. It was frustrating in like 2016 and 2017 to see the occassional “Is Mastodon failing?” because some tech journalist heard about it 2 months ago and it didn’t immediately overtake twitter.

I think as long as the baseline community is organic, and earned, as long as that is sustained, there will be waves of new users at particular moments. Whatever reasons cause influxes of users, it won’t be something the fediverse directly controls. It will just be something that it’s ready for.

I think mastodon and other fediverse social media will take up one day if these conditions are fulfilled.

  1. Popular politicians switch to the platform.

  2. Government creates their own instances for national security reasons (and yes, this is actually being discussed around the world after twitter and Facebook’s ban on Trump, even Angela Merkel raised her concerns over how the situation was handled by The GAFAT).

  3. It takes a more reddit approach and implements groups where people speak about one topic. Example, anime community, pop community, technology community etc.

But at the end of the day what makes big corporate social media strong nowadays are their algorithms, because it removes the necessity of thinking from the consumer, in the presence of an algorithm you don’t need to have a developed personality, interests or objectives in order to get content, and that’s what sone people want.

In the fediverse you have no algorithms to suggest you what to see, so at the end of the day our communities are what we want it to be, that makes us more than consumers, and that’s a responsibility not everyone is ready to handle.

Realistically, the fediverse is niche, but I like it that way.


Realistically, the fediverse is niche, but I like it that way.

I think even if the fediverse wasn’t niche, your corner of it could still be. Unlike something like twitter you’re not forced to share one big silo with everyone.

I think another hurdle in fediverse adoption is self-hosting, programming languages and costs.

We need easier deployment processes. something like wordpress with auto installers and 3 steps processes.

second most cheap shared hosting providers only provide php environments. so take for instance Matrix if a php Matrix server was developed that doesn’t need to run as a deamon (have no idea about feasibility) . maybe even more people will try and setup one even for the sake of curiosity.

VPS and dedicated servers plans are expensive so without donations and support fewer will make the jump. we should have access to cheaper personal domain names if not free at all. so people from all over the world can join on there own terms;


Both Hubzilla and Friendica are as easy to host as Wordpress. They do run fine on shared php only hosting. I think Pixelfed also, but I never tried.

Yes I looked into friendica and It seems easy to host, I never tried though, but auto installers are welcome too.

I “came back” to the Fediverse not too long ago (fed up with Big Tech services) and started exploring the various ActivityPub services. I already had accounts on Mastodon and Diaspora. When looking in to self-hosting (as that would be the “ultimate federation”) I learnt that Mastodon required a server (in my case virtual) that I didn’t have the budget for. It simply wouldn’t compile on the small Digital Ocean instances and it ran like crap on the next one up too.

That made me look around for other alternatives. Today I have one instance of Pleroma running, which was dead easy to install as long as anyone has access to a sudo commandline. Literally copy/paste between windows and it was done.

I also have an instance of Friendica running. It was slightly more involved to install as I have a baseline of wanting to use HTTPS, Nginx etc (which wasn’t part of the standard instructions, though there is info out there to find), but it also went well. Both instances have been running for a couple of weeks, admittedly with only me as the sole user of either, but I follow a couple of hundred people on each service.

I have since learnt about Misskey, which I have been test driving on a public server and been quite impressed by how slick it feels. I shall see if I can bother setting up a server for that too, hehe.

Pixelfed I am using on a public instance so haven’t tried installing that. Have (just during last week) contemplated on if I should run various little services like Lemmy, Searx etc on one of my servers already up, as they don’t seem stressed out at all today. Haven’t investigated how resource hungry Lemmy or Searx are though.

Pleroma does look like a nice lightweight mastodon alternative but all I hear is awful stuff about the development community around it

I haven’t actually had to touch the code of it at all, so can’t answer for how the development community is. I have heard “Pleroma is like Mastodon Lite”, and indeed if I look at server resources that seems to be correct. That is however also the only place where I find Pleroma lighter than Mastodon. IMHO Pleroma has an added feature set compared to Mastodon that make it more competent than Mastodon out of the box, and even more so if you have admin rights.

I really like the old-school front-end (Pleroma-fe) too, but if that is not to everyones liking there is also Soapbox front-end (slick one content column “theme”) and, of course, there is also a front-end (included in the default Pleroma install) called Masto-fe, which literally is the Mastodon frontend (though a fork from Glitch I believe).

The one thing the default front-end doesn’t do that Mastodon does is “lists”, i.e. being able to group your contacts into lists. That functionality is actually in Pleroma though, and accessible from masto-fe as well as from Soapbox, so for some reason they have chosen not to show it on the default pleroma-fe.

The pleroma-fe you need to “fetch new posts” manually though, which can be irritating at times and a blessing at other times. If I wish for the feed to “flow” I switch over to masto-fe and it updates itself. Swapping between pleroma-fe and masto-fe is as easy as clicking a link in either.

Apart from Pleroma having a larger default post character count compared to a default install of Mastodon, it also has built-in chat (which is on top of “direct message” and other privacy groupings).

Also, for those that like to “skin” or “theme” their things (I do) it has quite comprehensive settings for doing exactly that when it comes to the default pleroma-fe. As Pleroma has great interconnectivity with Mastodon, Friendica (who is the king of the connectivity hill) and Pixelfed etc I have been really quite pleased with Pleroma.

Having said all of that, Friendica is currently my “main” service. As the Fediverse services are “algorithm” free (i.e. chronological) one can easily miss good content, due to not watching the screen as it flows past. In Friendica you can group and filter with great flexibility, which can slow down the “news feed” quite a bit, to make it readable. Also, as Friendica properly supports threading you can select to bump messages to the top based on activity in a thread (it will also highlight which message is new, as it, just like Lemmy, is possible to give a reply in the “middle” of the flow (just like this reply). In Friendica one doesn’t miss in what context a given post is made, because it is all there. In Mastodon/Pleroma it can take quite some work to back-pedal a long thread.

Thank, this a very valuable feed back that deserves a thread by its own.

I think the Fediverse is overall quite healthy. There are millions of active users on it, and that translates into a sufficient user base needed for hosting and developing Fediverse based platforms. Many of the projects are community funded to ensure sustained development, and there is a robust ecosystem of active instances.

While growth is always nice, it’s not really a major factor in sustainability once a critical mass of users needed for sustainability is reached. This is a very different dynamic from commercial services that need to show profit and growth to their investors and shareholders.

Open source community run projects also need far less resources to stay afloat. As an example, Twitter has something like 3,000 employees while Mastodon is developed by a team of maybe a dozen people.

A lot of the complexity of Twitter such as ads, is completely incidental to the users, and some such as tracking is actively harmful. Yet, this is where majority of the effort is actually focused since user data is the real product. Mastodon can provide a better user experience with a far small development team because it doesn’t have any ulterior motives.

Open source also operates on different timescales from commercial projects. Mastodon was originally built on top of GNU Social protocol. GNU Social has been around for years in relative obscurity, yet it never died off. If GNU Social was a proprietary commercial platform then it would’ve just faded into obscurity when their money ran out.

Open source also operates on different timescales from commercial projects.

So when we gonna start talking in terms of “open source time” like we do with “geologic time”

loving this open source time idea :)

If GNU Social was a proprietary commercial platform then it would’ve just faded into obscurity when their money ran out.

Correction, if GNU Social was a proprietary commercial platform then it would’ve been shut down when their money ran out.

Right, once a proprietary service gets shut down all the work that went into it becomes worthless.

I think the fediverse is nice and healthy. It may not be mainstream but I don’t think that is an issue. It would be nice if we can subscribe to anyone from anywhere however the current popular platforms have no interest in sharing their userbase.

However if there is interest for more mainstream adoption I think the things that can help push the fediverse forward are:


Much like on Matrix you can chat with people on multiple chat networks fairly easily it would be nice to bridge more to the fediverse. This will allow those who are included to make the fediverse their “home” without missing out on publishers or subscribers that are using closed platforms. (In fact it can be more convenient because it allows you to work with multiple platforms at the same time.

For example you could map @user on twitter to on the fediverse. Then you can sign into twitterbridge and it can bidirectionally map events between twitter and the fediverse.

Identity issues

Right now if I want to post short status updates and videos I need to have a different ID for peertube and mastodon. Of course any fediverse user can subscribe to either but it seems odd to limit each identity to one “style” of content. I think it is powerful that you can have multiple identities but I think it would be nice if you didn’t need to.

Identities are already the biggest gap in UX. And if we are going to move from something centralized (@username) to something decentralized (username@host.example) I think it would be easier to allow users to maintain a single identity across services (if they want).

It would also be nice if there was a service to publish and lookup fediverse identities by other known identities. It would really help mainstream adoption.

Redirection Domain

Right now if you are browsing someone’s profile on their host most services will ask for your homeserver or username in order to subscribe. It would be really helpful if there was a common server that could remember your preference and direct you there automatically. For example makes it very easy to share Matrix rooms no matter what homeserver you use.

The downside is that this is a tracking avenue. However this is just a temporary fix until browsers can natively understand a custom URL which can be handled.

It would be pretty cool to have a federated identity service. So, you could use webfinger to query the identity server and then get directed to federated endpoints on other servers depending on the requested service.

and think both single identities and instance based identities can co-exist.

Maybe I wasn’t clear. I don’t think user@domain style identities are bad. I think they are one of the better options available. (I’m not too sold on blockchain names but crypto-based identities likely have a place). However I think that I should be able to use peertube and mastodon with the same identity.

I’ll reword that section to be more clear.

They are limited to the functionality of a specific service where you have the identity. So that unless Mastodon supports groups, you won’t be able to discuss things on Lemmy with a Mastodon account.

From my experience Mastodon, Diaspora, Pixelfed and PeerTube interoperate well. I have subscribed to all of them from my Mastodon account and I really can’t complain about the experience of consuming multiple types of services.

After all interoperability is the whole point of the fediverse. If each type of service couldn’t interoperate then we really have different federated networks instead of a single fediverse.

Interoperability is just an idea, the reality can differ, see what’s happening in the XMPP world for example. If Mastodon hasn’t got groups, how it will display group discussions from Lemmy or Mobilizon or maybe Pleroma in future?

You don’t need complete interoperability in order to be useful. For example I subscribe to PeerTube just fine from Mastodon.

Also sharing an ID doesn’t mean that I can’t have multiple services on my end. If posts videos from PeerTube and photos from PixelFed there is no reason that I shouldn’t be able to subscribe as consumer@other.example and watch the videos on PeerTube and photos on PixelFed.

So I agree that reading Lemmy from mastodon doesn’t make much sense, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t share my ID between the two and that definitely doesn’t mean that I can’t use Mastodon to subscribe to PeerTube and PixelFed users.

Depends on what you consider useful. Does Mastodon have the same peer-to-peer video streaming features as Peertube? Also, subscribing to someone’s account from their page is a pain in many cases, when it’s not my instance I have to type my account ID manually, redirect to my instance and subscribe from there. And for nearly half Pleroma instances I get just Unknown error instead of proper redirect, so I copy their account username and domain, and paste them into the search field of my instance to find the account and subscribe. So, as I’ve said before, the reality can differ from what could be considered usable.

many project traditional capitalist social media’s growth and adoption trends onto fediverse projects and arrive at the incorrect conclusion that the latter are stagnating

fediverse is vastly different from traditional social media, in the sense that traditional social medias are guaranteed to at some point start to screw their users over for endless growth/investment cycle, which inevitably results in users just leaving after the screwing over for profit is unbearable anymore

the fediverse however puts the user first, and in that sense is has one huge advantage that traditional social medias will never have, and everyone is able to perceive the positive difference of the fediverse

every time that a social media starts to decline or dies some users inevitably go to fediverse, and most are not coming back, so the user conversion is slow, but it only goes in one direction, traditional social media will lose and the fediverse (or whatever protocol we will have in the future) will win, just slowly

p.s. if you step back for a second, you may even arrive at the conclusion that growth isn’t really something necessary, most communities are better off with a smaller user base

i’m not saying having many users is necessarily bad, it’s just that qualifying user base as the main success metric is wrong

Yes the way I approached this topic is looking at success from the size of the user base. because I find it a fair metric to use to judge social networks.

I might be wrong. but people who have already joined the fediverse are the ones interested in this sort of technology. are knowledgeable enough about tech and opensource, they might have backgrounds in IT. or refugees from Facebook twitter and youtube.

I think no matter how Facebook & co screw-up. they will always remain social behemoths. unless another technology comes up. which will likely be bought by them anyway.


I don’t think size is a very good metric, at least not from a certain size onward. Think about it like the size of the city you live in. Of course it is nice to have more options and choice etc. in bigger cities, but from a certain size on (in Europe about >500k inhabitants I would say) the returns are really diminishing and in fact partially turn into the opposite.

As for Facebook always being there… I doubt it. Facebook could literally disappear over night especially if they are prevented from buying up promising competitors. The problem is that any such commercial competitor does have similar incentives to capture their audience, so nothing really changes.


Diaspora is definitely dying, but I don’t see this trend for Mastodon at all.

As for “take-up”… it has already happend. Just because it is not dominating over Twitter/Facebook doesn’t mean it is not a healthy community with more than enough users.

For it to “overtake” other networks, it would probably require regulatory intervention by governments forcing existing large closed networks to open up for interoperability.

Mastodon isn’t dying but if you look at their “last month active users” It has been quite stagnant for over a year.

Governments won’t force Big tech to open up, because they are their best tools for mass surveillance. and Big tech will argue that they are the best at keeping terrorist, deviants and dissidents at bay. think about the children yall !

Mastodon users decreasing and Lemmy users growing :33333


Is there a good way to build a, real name, friend/acquaintance graph (akin to Facebook/LinkedIn) within the Fediverse? I feel like is a big barrier to mass adoption. I personally find much more value in my lemmy and mastodon feeds than I ever did on twitter/reddit (well reddit still has a lot more content, but the interface and openess is better IMO on Lemmy), but there are generations of people who really are only in it for the social graph.

I’m not quite sure I fully understand what you mean, but Friendica looks and works very much like Facebook does, and is more polished, much more than Diaspora. It even has friend suggestions, based on mutual friends, as well as on mutual interests. It could definitely be used by people who are in it for the social graph, the topic of the network effect barrier of entry notwithstanding.

Friendica looks like a project from 2005. a lot needs to be done to make fediverse projects look contemporary. a big chunk of complaints from new signal users who joined after Musk’s tweet are about the UI. and statuses.

But the network effect and marketing are still the biggest hurdles. I mean Facebook didn’t stop running ads on every platform up until 2013/4, while the only marketers fediverse projects have are its users, which to be honest have a hard time even telling people about alternatives. and we are looked upon as freaks and social outcasts.


That is a bit tricky as many people on the fediverse are in it precisely because they don’t want to be part of such a “social graph”.

Understandable. some projects like ‘friendica - hubZilla - zap …’ don’t have it as their motto to become replacements for FB and twitter. these are made by hobbyists. and are fine with the size of their communities

I have this cool idea, about an openBook, where people can post their fediverse accounts, im accounts like Matrix, Jami, Session and link them to their real names, so people can contact them outside of facebook and whatsapp.

There are many times I would like to talk to people who have FB accounts but can’t do that without a FB account and phone number and a facepic verification and ID verification and all. there used to be a time when FB users were reachable through xmpp but they closed it down way back in 2013.


While some people might see some limited benefits in this now that they already lost control over their personal data, initially it was mostly by coercion / naivety that this data ended up in the hands of Facebook etc. (there is even a famous quote by Mr. Zuckerberg about that).

Therefore I highly doubt these days many people will voluntarily hand-over such data to an unknown new entity such as the one you are proposing.

I am under no illusions about how much convenience always wins over privacy for the majority, but in this specific case the most convenient option for most people is staying with the devil they already know.

Absolutely we ended up clicking “accept” on any dialogue box apps, or websites prompt.

Even GDPR newest tracking consent requests ended up messing the user experience. and isn’t enforced properly. most websites don’t offer a reject all button at first prompt. knowing that users will chose the easiest exit and click agree to all.


A service that would allow a loop back authentication (verification by email or text) and then allow connections by simply storing a hash of their email (or phone) a la gravatar, could go a long way to verifying real names (or at least finding your contacts).

I don’t think most people would accept that idea but I would accept it for real jajajajajaja.


I think mastodon and peertube are doing well.

I remember when Diaspora first launched but it just never caught on and it seems its development stagnated.

I think what mastodon has done right is having a flagship instance, with well a “branded” domain that is simple and easy to recognize. I think it’s important to have an instance users can trust and rely on initially, for it to then take off until other high quality and well managed instances pop up.

Just recently they announced an official app which I also think is good and they probably should have done that initially as well.

As for getting other users to join and participate, it depends on which platform.

For peertube to grow, it will need to have some built in monetization to attract larger creators.

I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. It can still be community funded in some sense that it is optional to pay a recommended subscription fee. For example, the instance can recommend $5 a month, use the money to pay the hosting fees etc. And then distribute the rest to creators based on views or some other criteria.

As for mastodon, reaching out to users that are more likely to try it out like popular leftists might be a good idea.

“For peertube to grow, it will need to have some built in monetization to attract larger creators.”

I would go a step further, I think peertube could become a place where culturally people tend to monetarily support creators in a highly unusual frequency. On mastodon, I find that people interact with me WAYYY more than other social networks and I often see people asking for donations/help and it feels like there is this sense that people come there to have conversations and meaningfully interact that I don’t find elsewhere. I think peertube could become a similar thing and it would attract creators because it felt healthier all around.

I think having a passionate community posting exclusive and rich content is the way to guarantee PeerTube’s growth. for now Patreon and LibrePay, and direct crypto donations can do the Job.

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