With (Far) Fewer Followers, Mastodon Generates More Engagement Than Twitter. Why?

23/2/2023

A recurring comment from people who post stuff on the internet and give Mastodon/fediverse a try is the (high) engagement and reach they get there.

Even with much smaller audiences than at Twitter, posts usually get more likes, “boosts” (RTs), and clicks. How can that be?

Wall Street Journal tech columnist Christopher Mims has a good hypothesis:

To me, the answer is pretty simple: Twitter tries to aggregate as much attention as possible around stuff that goes mega-viral.

There are only so many minutes in the day. So for stuff to “blow up big” necessitates that most of the rest of the posts from people we might actually want to hear from must go unseen.

The logic of the fediverse is to deliver the content that someone asked to receive, as in following other people, without an opaque filter (the “algorithm”) in between.

This logic pulverises the attention distribution — less viral content that gets on TV and even your grandma knows about it, more small, organic content spreading across the web in niches. More diversity, more inclusion, more chances for more people to be heard.

Discuss @ Hacker News.

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