Prediction: Mastodon will likely outlast Twitter.
Historically, decentralized, open-source platforms and protocols with any adoption run forever, even if they rarely reach the popularity or cultural relevance of centralized platforms.
It seems likely to me that when Twitter eventually shuts down, people will still be running Mastodon instances.
Did you know Diaspora has 328 active nodes and 17k users? Hell, there are 3,652 active FidoNet nodes, and that started in 1984!
So... am I wrong?
TO BE CLEAR, I'm not saying that Mastodon will have any impact on Twitter whatsoever.
The idea of a social network "beating" another social network is ridiculous.
@andybaio Mastodon is also younger than Twitter? but built into Mastodon is the ability for bits of the culture to splinter off and form new instances, and for vestigial cultures to wither off invisibly. Twitter is encumbered by its insistence that all of these cultures share a common center.
@andybaio You are not wrong, though I think most of the chatter (however inane) about Mastodon: Twitter Killer Or Flash In The Pan? isn't really engaging with that question. For folks orienting Mastodon as the latest entrant in an all-or-nothing corporate tech rivalry, "it's got basic legs and people will keep using it because it's nice" isn't one of the narrative paths on the table.
@andybaio I mean, shit, email is enormously successful and has a tremendous installed user base and is the least sexy thing in the world that nobody is ever going to put up against a newer tech as a narrative combatant. When was the last time email was in its own right even any sort of news? Launch of Gmail? Eventually it's just fish saying "what's water", just a band that's perfectly good and never breaks up but never hits the top 40 charts.
@andybaio long live gnu social
@andybaio yeah, I remember writing about Bitcoin for the first time, and realising that I was hitting the same failure of my own imagination -- I could not imagine them succeeding with the ambition levels of some people involved, but at the same time I couldn't actually define what "failure" would look like, because I couldn't imagine absolute extinction
@kodo well, never say *impossible* but certainly quite hard to imagine/improbable. Again, that doesn't mean that the end isn't just 11000 hardcore bitcoin fans having their annual conference in Boise, Idaho. But it's not /absolute disappearence/. Plus things sometimes kick off again (*cough* identi.ca *cough* GNU Social)