I should probably point out that one of my side projects will NOT support Mastodon as a self-hosted option.
We WILL support Pleroma and others.
Mastodon isn't the only software that can speak the ActivityPub protocol (what Mastodon is built upon).
We have Plume and Microblog.pub (blogging...)
We have Pleroma (longer posts, formatting, single column UI)
"Mastodon needs more utility" is already addressed pretty well.
We have ALTERNATIVES THAT TALK TO EACH OTHER AND PROVIDER ALTERNATIVE EXPERIENCES WHILE PLAYING WELL WITH OTHERS