Sensor Tower reveals Mastodon app downloads increase during Musk’s Twitter take over


Sensor Tower has been tracking app downloads for both Twitter and Mastodon’s performance over the past nine months

Since Elon Musk took over Twitter in October, there has been mass conversation about what it means for the future of social media platforms.

Market intelligence company Sensor Tower has been tracking app downloads for both Twitter and Mastodon’s performance over the past nine months.

Sensor Tower found that social media network Mastodon experienced a significant global spike in activity in app downloads in April 2022 (170,000, +4,150% month-on-month), the same month that Musk first entered his bid for Twitter.

Additionally, the rival platform also saw a notable global increase in downloads for October (202,000, +1,247 month-on-month), the month Musk officially took over Twitter.

While Twitter’s own figures have remained steady thus far, preliminary predictions for November show a concerning drop in app downloads following Musk’s takeover, according to Sensor Tower.

Mastodon logo

Mastodon was launched in October 2016 by German software developer Eugen Rochko, spurred on by his dissatisfaction with Twitter and his concerns over the platform’s centralised control. Mastodon is now the largest decentralized social network on the internet. 

In an April 2022 tweet, the official account tweeted: “At Mastodon, we present a vision of social media that cannot be bought and owned by any billionaire. Your ability to communicate online should not be at the whims of a single commercial company!”

Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion US dollars ($68 billion AUD) and immediately fired several top executives at the company, including CEO Parag Agrawal in October.

Finance chief Ned Segal and Vijaya Gadde, head of legal policy, trust, and safety were also immediately fired, both including Twitter’s CEO having left the company’s San Francisco headquarters.  

In April, Musk proposed acquiring the company and taking it private, and Twitter accepted. However, Musk had second thoughts and alleged that the company failed to disclose the number of spam and fake accounts on the platform. 

Because of this, Twitter sued Musk stating in court that, he “refuses to honour his obligations to Twitter and its stockholders because the deal he signed no longer serves his personal interests.” 

See also: Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirms takeover of Twitter

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