The power of Mastodon

I ran a quick poll yesterday on both Mastodon and Twitter. You can see the polls below, and I will comment on the results further down. The poll wasn’t really meant to find out anything about Covid. There are way better studies out there. What I was trying to find out was how the engagement on Mastodon is, compared to Twitter. Three numbers:

  • Mastodon (2400 followers): 11667 votes, 1381 boosts, 298 favorites
  • Twitter (6800 followers): 330 votes, 22 retweets, 5 likes

I have about three times as many followers on Twitter than on Mastodon, but the engagement is so much higher on Mastodon, that the two do not even compare.

The results are mostly useless. People do not know how often they have been infected and the medical standards vary widely between the US and EU. You can safely assume that there are more infections, but you can also learn that infections are not inevitable. I have many replies from people who mask religiously because they have other medical conditions that would make an infection with Covid-19 much more dangerous that to the average person.

Your next steps:

  1. Sign up for Mastodon. If you have trouble finding an instance, go to
  2. Search for me as and follow.

6 thoughts on “The power of Mastodon”

  1. I was really surprised at the engagement numbers, quite cool to be honest.

  2. One explanation could also be that many people can’t easily vote on Twitter. I saw the Poll in Tweetbot, but couldn’t vote without jumping to Twitter in the browser.

  3. While this is interesting, I’m curious to see how the community reacts and how this behavior evolves. As more people come on and care about engagement hacking, the number of “please boost for visibility” posts has increased to the point that I had to put a block on phrases like that.

    Several of the polls I’ve seen go by have been at least clickbait-adjacent. Your poll was the only one I participated in, IIRC. Mostly because I wanted to see what the numbers were. It was also the last “retweet OK” I saw before engaging my filters.

    Because everything is polarizing, I think we are in a brief period of detente. Tensions have already begun escalating over journalists, content warnings, racism, and data harvesting. It will soon devolve to nothing but yelling at each other and digging in to extreme positions on one side or the other. I don’t see how the end state can be anything other than Mastodon either going back to being a small constellation of self-described weirdos with an even stronger suspicion of outsiders, or turning into something indistinguishable from Twitter, filled with celebrities and influencers and network-builders.

    I believe if folks on both sides were willing to accept the legitimacy of the other, the technology of federation allows for coexistence. But socially, it’s too unstable to last.

  4. At least for me it‘s a simple explanation: I will never see your poll as it contains muted words. I have muted lots of words on Twitter – I would have to do this on Mastodon (if I had an account…is it even possible?)

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