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I got asked about this by somebody from WIRED so I got some numbers together. I believe that Mastodon servers have gained around 49,000 new people since March. Our iOS app downloads rose by 109%. On mastodon.social, I am seeing a 71% increase in sign-ups and 36% increase in monthly active users as people are coming back to their old accounts.

@Gargron I'm curious about how you collect stats across servers, what your expectations are about the quality of the data you collect across servers, and the options mastodon admins have for omitting themselves from your methods of stats collection.

@Gargron Also just sending you my best wishes, Eugen. Mastodon to the top!

@peptostate Mastodon exposes total and active user numbers through its public API. Separately, there is also a public API listing other domains a server is aware of. Like many people I am running a stats aggregator that crawls over these APIs to understand how many Mastodon servers are up and how many total and active users there are. It is not a guarantee that a server that exists will be crawled, but then some servers have inflated numbers, so it is neither a lower nor upper bound estimate.

@peptostate I go through slightly more effort to ensure that the numbers I collect are from Mastodon servers and not, say, Pleroma masking itself as Mastodon, and to exclude servers that are Mastodon forks that have disabled federation. Running Mastodon in limited federation mode does not expose these statistics, as I am also not interested in capturing statistics of servers that are not properly part of the network.

@Gargron That all makes a lot of sense to me. Many thanks for answering to this degree of detail. I am rooting for your success!

@Gargron @peptostate If activitypub was a standardized protocol, the sentence ''pleroma masking itself as mastodon'' would make no sense

@loweel That... makes little sense. HTTP is a standardized protocol, yet most browsers send the User-Agent header to identify themselves. As a user, you can of course override this, thus masking what browser you are using, either by changing it to be the same as some other browser or any other arbitrary string you'd like.

@ellen

When I started working, HTTP vas version 0.9, with RFC 1945

After 3 years, we had 1.0.

After 5 years more, we had HTTP 1.1 , with RFC 2616

Then we had HTTP 2.0, and now we are discussing about 3.0.

So , if you want to add things, you can.

I suggest to have a little of hystorical view of the internet. Being young is beautiful, but still, the past happened.

@loweel I'm aware of HTTP having gone through several versions, many of which are still in use. I fail to see however, how this in any way relates to the discussion.

Is the point you are trying to make that you are miffed at the custom extensions different implementations make to the ActivityPub protocol which hinders complete interoperability between different server software due to differing capabilities?

@ellen

actually YOU created confusion. I was discussing about the fact, if ActivityPub (and even, in this specific case) the Mastodon API, were a standardized protocol, the sentence “Pleroma is masking as Mastodon”. Which would have no meaning, since when a protocol is standardized, you don’t “mask”: there is no such a thing like “postfix is pretending to be sendmail”: either you are a mailserver, or not. Same for http: there is no such a thing like “caddy is pretending to be nginx”: either is HTTP or not.

So I was discussing the fact @Gargron said “Pleroma masking itself as Mastodon,”.

Then you come with HTTP being a standard protocol then immutable, which I just reject, since HTTP changed.

The point I make is very easy: the @Gargron point “Pleroma masking itself as Mastodon,” was not even possible, if Mastodon API and AP were standardized protocols.

User agent headers, perhaps, are all about clients, not servers. The server may declare its identity or not.

So the point is, if the sentence “Pleroma masking itself as Mastodon,” , something about protocols and API standardization gove wrong.

@loweel So if you have a webserver running, say, Apache, and send the Server-header nginx, you are not masking an Apache server as nginx?

@ellen

According with RFC 2616, §14.37 the raccomandation is to be configurable, so you don’rt expect to read the truth from there. As cou can, see, the behavior IS standardized.

Now, please show me where, in activityPub or the API Documentation of Mastodon, the observed behavior is documented.

And , since the W3C is not even talking about this in AP, neither the desided behavior is described by Mastodon,

“standardization” of this protocol just SUCKS.

Which was my point.

@peptostate

Perhaps you want to checkout @fediverse which publishes some statistics in daily basis. Their source code is available as far as I can tell.

@Gargron

@Gargron
I was thinking that Elon Musk is too cleaver, instead of buying Twitter for billions, he can easily install a mastodon instance for free.

@kdj @Gargron He could, but I doubt he wants Twitter for the technology in and of itself.

@kdj @Gargron isn't it interesting if elon musk buy twitter and make the twitter joining fediverse. And then we can follow people from twitter like this '@rohmatsb@twitter.com'.

Fediverse will looks more 'alive', alot of new user in fediverse.

@Gargron I've been spending a lot of my time complaining about a lot of services I used recently, and am feeling better after having left Uber/Amazon/Twitter. I have been masodon curious for years and I have found multiple things refreshing vs twitter and I just got here. (I have poked my head in a few times, but the mobile app made me come on over for realsies)

@Gargron First, congratulations. I hope that momentum continues.

Second, are you a little bit worried that, with growth, content moderation will become more of a challenge?

@atomicpoet @Gargron Seems like we’re focusing so much on mastodon.social too. When first getting into the #fediverese the concept of instances is confusing, but everyone joining the same instance kinda defeats one the main selling points of federation.

@asteroidrainfall @atomicpoet @Gargron I think over time new people are gonna find out about other instances which might get them to switch, but people likely would want to use something more popular first

@vl1 @asteroidrainfall @atomicpoet @Gargron newbie here 🙋‍♂️, this was my reasoning for joining this instance. First time using the Fediverse so I wanted to get exposure and figure out how this all works before possibly switching into a more niche instance.. but I have a lot of interests sooo idk 😅

@Gargron part of the uptick in Mastodon iOS app downloads might be caused by the loss of Amaroq app… (speaking for myself here)

@Gargron I'm a new user and am getting my head around the interface. I do like this and hope to use more as I learn more about it.

@thatonecalculator @Gargron These are just Mastodon server numbers, Pleroma/Misskey are probably experiencing a rise in users as well.

@Gargron New users this month is a load more than average! It's so often to see if something "happens" on mainstream social, people are waking up :blobcatgiggle:

@Gargron Dobbs.Town , founded December 2018, is thriving. New members of the Church of the SubGenius enter our gates every month, lively exchanges internally and externally, planning continues for the next Devival, and we thank all who make Mastodon and ActivityPub what it is for help along the way.

@Gargron I adore Mastodon, it is such a breath of fresh air, it really is a safe place, |I have encouraged a few people to cross over from the other platforms & I will share the message, Mastodaon is a gift, thank you so much for creating it.

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