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This seems very important and worth ongoing study:

“Once again, results suggest a rise in diversity as the 10 biggest server contribution to the Fediverse is reduced by more than 10%. So, even if the biggest servers are accumulating more users, it seems that the Fediverse is becoming more decentralized.”

@fediversereport @spreadmastodon @fediversenews

Interesting! Although there are some quirks in the data, with joindiaspora and (neither of which are Mastodon) in last March's accounts and not the current list, and with and going from over 10% of MAU to not appearing at all in the latest statistics.

@Jon Did you seriously expect a #Fediverse analysis to be only about #Mastodon?

#MastodonIsNotTheFediverse. And is not Mastodon either; it's the biggest #MissKey instance.

@Tim Chambers It's a pity that only a bunch of instances were analysed that were important in mid-March. The graph would look different if it had taken the recent #CalcKey growth into consideration.

@jupiter_rowland @jdp23

I'd say: it's a start...and I could see from an analysis standpoint how the researcher started with what was doable directly via the #mastodon API. But hopefully to add others as they can.

Adding the author into this thread: @marcelcosta

And by definition, I'd think the decentralized story is likely only *better* when you assume the other non-Mastodon Fediverse data... now counts Calckey as 3,500 users, I think FediDB counts them as 8.700 users.

@Tim Chambers @marcelcosta @Jon If either are accurate. All I know is that CalcKey is growing like crazy because it gets a whole lot of exposure and publicity in the Fediverse, and because it's currently the most feature-rich ActivityPub-based project while still having a decent UI.

In this regard, I think the refusal to include Akkoma and CalcKey because Pleroma and MissKey are already there isn't quite smart. Pleroma barely matters because Akkoma outshines it, and MissKey only matters in Japan while CalcKey is booming over here.

Hey! That was the point of the analysis in part, to generate debate and tools to monitor.

In theory, absolute accounts of servers include data from many softweres. It's the MAU value that only includes Mastodon servers. I think that both measures show the same trend, so.

And yes, API query must be improved. Some diaspora servers are excluded because of lag in answering. This should be addressed (although the biggest instance is alive but will close soon and doesn't accept new posts).

If there is interest on that, we can plot software distribution across servers and users.

@marcelcosta @jupiter_rowland @jdp23

Thank you Marcel! And appreciate your joining into this discussion on your work!

You're welcome! This was my intention. Me and others are really interested in measuring decentralization and network quality over quantity.

@Jupiter Rowland

In general I find it noteworthy that pretty much no one is talking about the phenomenal growth Akkoma has had since its launch, which was just over 1 year ago. Comparatively it is really impressive.

It is twice the size a certain other service that "everyone" talks about (and the same amount of MAU's, which admittedly speaks for the even newer service), and which I also wish well, but given the talk about it I would've expected it to be explosive...not half the amount of users of Akkoma.

I just find it noteworthy that there isn't a beep regarding Akkoma (unless it comes from me, and people are bored of me raving about it).

I wonder what would've happened if Akkoma had gotten the same exposure though, given that it has a similar feature set.

#ImNotBitter 😆

@Tim Chambers @Jon @marcelcosta


I appreciate the need to make visible many software. This is part of the decentralization! I can do a second round of analysis looking at these. However, in this first part I focused in the user distribution between servers. I did a first analyisis including the software information (I have shared it, although is not in english), but will be interesting to see the dynamics, too!

I have to say that I did this analysis in my free time, so I am sure that many things can be improved!

@marcelcosta @Fediverse News Oh yeah, sorry, I just read the comment from @Jupiter Rowland and felt I needed to air this thought I've had for a while, I forgot his reply was in relation to this visualisation.

I find your analysis really interesting. I didn't mean to give critique to that. I was just doing a fly-by comment of a general observation.

@jdp23 @tchambers
Hi! I have expanded the analysis focusing in software usage this time. I hope you find it interesting and you may have ideas on where to look at.

@spla @maegul

reshared this

Increased dominance of mastodon seems to make sense, and is rather important too IMO. You should, IMO, get this message out.

@marcelcosta Very interesting indeed! There was so much attention to Mastodon (as opposed to the broader fediverse) that its not surprising that concentration increased last fall. It'd be interesting to see if it also breaks into multiple phases.

@maegul @mathias @jupiter_rowland @tchambers @spla @fediversenews

Tim Chambers reshared this.

Yes! I will do it with the API snapshots that you shared from archive. Although it’s not possible with all the instances (API is still a bit buggy, I think), but I will be able to do it with software.
@marcelcosta Cool, looking forward to it!

@mathias @jupiter_rowland @jdp23 @marcelcosta

Please keep raving about Akkoma, Mathias, your comparative remarks are always interesting.

Regarding some of the other server types that are currently popular, the boundary between healthy enthusiasm and oppressive marketing hype is fluid, and it's good to see a degree of restraint and sobriety in the way in which servers such as Akkoma are discussed. :-)

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@the roamer

Hehe, thanks, I usually take great care to not offend people (and am mostly successful in that…I have irony and sarcasm in my veins so it is at times not without challenges…), and I try to stick to verifiable facts and also give credit where credit is due, but I keep getting blocked by people here and there which I apparently have rubbed up the wrong way, so I’ve learnt I’m not for everyone (which is fine, more of an observation). 🤣

@Jupiter Rowland @Jon @marcelcosta @Tim Chambers

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I’d say: it’s a start…and I could see from an analysis standpoint how the researcher started with what was doable directly via the #mastodon API. But hopefully to add others as they can.

Just a comment. @spla queried APIs from servers with many software installed, not just mastodon.

Also, it'd be nice to know something about what comprises all the "others", how many accounts do those instances have, how many of them are there?

Otherwise, it'll be interesting to track this going forward because right now is growing faster than it did between March and 17 May ... the picture could very well look different when comparing May to August.

>Also, it’d be nice to know something about what comprises all the “others”, how many accounts do those instances have, how many of them are there?

Others means all the rest! Which means 21089 in May (as shown in the first table).

>Otherwise, it’ll be interesting to track this going forward because right now is growing faster than it did between March and 17 May … the picture could very well look different when comparing May to August.

Totally true! I would like to take monthly pictures (with the help of @spla, which is the author of the API query script).

Thanks for the reply!

Any chance others can get their hands on the data set?

also, another question … any insights on your your data set and its creation would differ from any of the others out there like fedidb or

Hey! That is interesting... I didn't thought in using fedidb (the other one I didn't know). The truth is that @spla took the data by itself and, as I had the chance to look at it, performed the analysis.

It will be interesting to do the analysis with the fedidb dataset. For what I see right now, it seems that it differs from the dataset used by me. I can see an increase in servers in Oct 22 that results in a decrease in Users by server, and then it keeps more or less stable.

I would like to apply the shannon and simpson indexes and the top10 server distribution, as they gives a broather view of diversity.

Plot showing Fedivers server amount through time.
Plot showing Fedivers User per server ratio through time.
I am playing with fedidb API and I think I could get all the data I need (first time using APIs myself!).
Yea the API works well ... I've used it myself. Last time I used it though I think there was an issue in the data not having many of the small (1-10 user) instances. But from the dashboard that seems to have been fixed now.
When I find some time, I will try to recover this global data. I find particularly interesting the ecology measures of diversity to be applied to user distribution and software distribution.
What do you mean by "global data" ... what are you intending to recover?
The same as spla did, software, user and mau data from all servers included in fedidb.

Ahh ... right, collect the data yourself.

It does strike me though that it's the sort of task that we'd be better off doing more collectively. We could pool the algorithms to get the best one and collect multiple datasets from multiple origins to maximise coverage which can then be merged.

Also, just in case it's useful, here's my quickly hacked together python code for getting all the data from the fedidb API:

# +
from collections import deque
import requests as req

base_url = ''
servers_url = f'{base_url}servers'
# -
# +
server_data = deque()
params = {'limit':40}
n = 0

while True:
	if n%5 == 0:
		print('Loop', n, 'servers', n*40)

	r = req.get(servers_url, params=params)

	if r.status_code == 200:
		d = r.json()

		next_cursor = d['meta']['next_cursor']

		if next_cursor is None:
			print('Cursor is None ... FINISHED')
		params['cursor'] = next_cursor

		print(f'request broke and returned {r.status_code}')

	n += 1
# -
# +
# -

Thanks! I'll take a look on that!

>We could pool the algorithms to get the best one and collect multiple datasets from multiple origins to maximise coverage which can then be merged.

That would be cool for sure, although I'm not sure I can add much in the technical part (I am a biologist with some data analysis skills).

(I am a biologist with some data analysis skills)

... me too!

I recently did some analysis of my own using data from, but didn't have any historical data to compare to. I'm intending to make a comparison after a month or too.

You can see my analysis here:

Graphs of the sizes of fediverse instances, how common they are, and where the most people are! 🧵

Data pulled from (by @TheKinrar) and excludes pawoo and baraag as they're heavily blocked for good reasons (it seems)

Breaking down instances by the number of users into bins (that are quasi human friendly logarithmic), we see that the majority (55%) have 2-50 users, ~33% have 1 user, and almost all instances have less than 5,000 users.



Histogram of fediverse instances by account size ... see toot for description

The API must have changed, because after 3960 servers the code breaks. I have been trying by myself with R and more or less happens the same…

unfortunate. They make no promises about stability. Though from memory, I think the same thing happened to me when I used, and I figured their data was incomplete.

I asked the developer about it (they make pixelfed) but gotten no response.

@marcelcosta I agree, applying those ecology measures of diversity is very valuable -- I really appreciated that in your post!

Does the FediDB API let you get at historical data? Or, is the historical dataset available?

@maegul @tchambers @fediversereport @spreadmastodon @spla @fediversenews

Not that I know of ... if so it would be a hidden/undocumented feature.

In the end, given that these datasets aren't terribly large, especially if we have a temporal resolution of only 1 month or week, I think it's getting to the point that it'd be nice if they were just stored somewhere easily accessible to all.

@maegul I get the dataset from all peers of my server and then from all peers of my server's peers. After collecting all those peers, my code get the nodeinfo URL of all of them and ask it for users and MAU data, so only *alive* servers data is saved to the dataset.
Here is the code
The bot @fediverse is publishing global registered users and MAU.

@marcelcosta @tchambers @fediversereport @jdp23 @fediversenews @spreadmastodon

Fediverse News reshared this.

Awesome! I've already been following that bot. Thanks!!

@maegul you are welcome! by the way, you can ask any server or soft data to it, check its profile to see how you can do that.

@fediverse @marcelcosta @tchambers @fediversereport @jdp23 @fediversenews @spreadmastodon

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Wow, I found a huge mistake in my analysis!

The first time point it's not from March but from September! I am a bit embarrassed, but this is what happens when you rush because of time (and also, chaos in date format).

In fact, this makes more sense and is also interesting because it seems that some months after big October wave, it seems that Fediverse is more decentralized.

I've got the impression that it was somewhat necessary that mastodon be more decentralisation in order to take on all the new users as the larger instances, or some of them, struggled., for example, didn't really gain more users from Jan to March, IIRC.

Sure, these waves have overloaded even not-that-big instances, causing them to close registration for a time. From September, the number of servers has increased by 3.

If we had a historical from the server picture, would be really interesting to trace the movements and evolution of the Fediverse…

That is interesting! There are snapshots from prior to Octobers wave and also from October, November, December, etc… So we can monitor what happened with that wave, what was the dynamics of users.

Yes! Even though the data's noisy and incomplete there are clear differences in dynamics in different time periods. For example (I think, if I did the math right)

9/20/2022 to 12/7/2022: + 71K +80K

12/7/2022 to 3/25/2023: +115K +41K

3/25/2023 - 5/25/2023: +91K +3.6K.

@marcelcosta @maegul @tchambers @fediversereport @spreadmastodon @fediverse @spla @fediversenews

Increased decentralization is great news; however, unless we all agree together to #FediblockMeta , the fediverse is about to become massively centralized, and mostly the private property of Mark Zuckerberg

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Agreed: growing decentralization is only a good thing for the Fediverse.

I do think we need to prepare and think through strategy on Meta for sure.

I do not thing reflexive fediblocking them should be our first tactic.

It almost always should be a last tactic only done at the most extreme situations of harassment and out-of-control content non-moderation.

More thoughts later.

Fediverse News reshared this.

Thanks for your response. Yes, this is an issue that requires much more conversation and thinking ahead.

I would respectfully suggest that everyone disinclined to block Meta pay attention to the intensity of determination of others of us to prevent our expressions from being absorbed by them. We are defederating. And to avoid our toots being siphoned up into his machine for surveillance and AI ingestion, we will need to defederate with every other instance that doesn't. The community as it exists today will shatter, and Zuck will have been allowed to destroy the fediverse. The only way to avoid this grim scenario is to treat Meta as another Gab, and unify in our rejection.

Meta is a bigger threat to the federation than any fascist instance; the fediverse has never faced a more extreme situation.

Fediverse News reshared this.

@ophiocephalic 🐍 @Tim Chambers @Fediverse Report @Spread Mastodon As a #FederatedSocialWeb veteran and former self-hoster of my own private #Friendica and #Hubzilla instances, I have to say that I can hardly see literally absolutely the whole Fediverse fediblocking #Meta.

You have to keep a few things in mind.

First of all, the Fediverse is not only #Mastodon. Nor is the Fediverse only about a dozen big projects. The Fediverse is dozens upon dozens of big and small projects.

For the whole Fediverse to fediblock Meta, every single last one of them, even just recently launched private proof-of-concept alphas of brand-new projects which nonetheless will federate, will require not only a mandatory instance-wide blocking mechanism, but a mandatory standard blacklist with Meta's instance on it. Otherwise developers can't test-drive their new Fediverse server application without their test instance being defederated left and right for not blocking Meta.

Of course, this would also mean that everything that even only as much as understands #ActivityPub would require such a mandatory default blacklist with Meta on it. Even if it isn't based on ActivityPub. Even if ActivityPub is an add-on, a plug-in, maybe even third-party like in the case of #WordPress. Even if ActivityPub has to be manually activated instance-wide by the admin and then separately by the users for each one of their channels like in Hubzilla's case.

That is, putting Meta on the same list as all other defederated instances would probably be considered not enough. Blocking Meta would have to be hard-coded into the engine of the project itself, also to mandatorily roll it out to all instances of all projects. Instance block lists aren't part of the source code, and if they became that, lots of not-so-techy instance admins would end up with file conflicts they can't solve because the git pull involved in the upgrade would try to create a file that already exists.

Still, this wouldn't be 100% water-tight. An absolutely mandatory fediblock for Meta would mean certain death for lots and lots of small private instances. Admins of such tiny instances often only do the very bare necessities to keep them running. Sometimes they rarely or never even upgrade the underlying operating system, much less the Fediverse project running on it. Why should they? It runs. And an upgrade means a) a hassle and b) probably more of a hassle if stuff breaks.

Just to prove my point: There are still Mastodon 3.x instances in the Fediverse. There are still a very few running small instances of #Osada and #Zap, both of which have been discontinued on New Year's Eve 2022. These projects are no longer maintained. They won't get any updates anymore. They were superseded by #Streams, and not everyone who still runs these old projects wants to do the switch.

And then there are those projects that are technically still in development, but whose development has slowed down dramatically. Look at how often #Pleroma rolls out new versions. And Pleroma isn't exactly obscure, it has public instances. Or look at #Plume which counts as still actively developed, but whose devs barely find any time to do anything, so it often doesn't get any updates in many months. I don't even think that Plume has any means of blocking instances by blacklist.

So if blocking Meta becomes mandatory, you can fediblock an entire long-form blogging project out of the Fediverse with all its private and public instances because not a single instance will participate in blocking Meta, because not a single instance is even capable of doing that, because the capability is not included and rolled out in time, because the devs can't find the time to include it.

@Jupiter Rowland

Doesn’t the entire ”blocking” argument fall on the logical hurdle of ”blocking everyone who doesn’t block…” as that literally will be a never-ending and forever incomplete route to go. Shouldn’t white-listing be what they (kolektiva) actually are after? That they only allow a named appointed set of instances.

That will also, obviously, mean that unless they have some VERY dedicated community managers, they will only be whitelisting instances of certain sizes…this is clearly a case where centralization wins over decentralization; as an instance with 30k users require as much admin work as an instance-of-one. All the small instances will likely be shut out, simply due to the admin burden of adding them.

By that point it becomes worthwhile to do a re-take on if a whitelist-only Fediverse is the correct solution for those communities. I obviously don’t mean I personally do not want them here, I am talking about that the community leaders of such a community should perhaps reconsider if using a completely open protocol with absolutely no privacy built-in to it, to be the best safety barrier for privacy and to keep the dragons out.

It is a tricky thing to both be open and ”findable” whilst also locking everyone out by default unless they’ve proven themselves in some way, which is impossible unless manual action is taken in the first place.

I’m mostly thinking out loud, reflecting on the conundrum of both viewpoints, so I mean no offence this or that way.

@Tim Chambers @ophiocephalic 🐍 @Fediverse Report @Spread Mastodon

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@Mathias Hellquist (Friendica) It's mostly people on large-enough Mastodon instances who barely (or not at all) know there's a Fediverse outside Mastodon who are in favour of a whitelist-only Fediverse.

A Fediverse that only works on whitelists would mean certain death not only to smaller instances and thereby to self-hosting your own private instance, but also to new instances in general and new projects. Developers who create new projects couldn't test-drive them with working federation unless their experimental test instance started out right away as a "lighthouse" instance with thousands of unique active users and 24/7 moderation.

In fact, entire projects would end up defederated because they don't have a single instance that's what the whitelisting crowd deems large enough. Hubzilla and (streams) could just as well remove ActivityPub support because all their instances are too small to be whitelisted; at least, it wouldn't matter anymore if their instances had ActivityPub on or not. Since Plume and WriteFreely would probably end up with not a single instance on the whitelists, and WordPress blogs don't count as Fediverse instances, the Mastodon-centric Fediverse would lose its long-form blogging capability.

But maybe that's what the whitelist supporters want. Maybe they want to make the Fediverse what they themselves have spent months believing what it is: only Mastodon.

@Tim Chambers @ophiocephalic 🐍 @Spread Mastodon

@jupiter_rowland Agree that whitelisting a finite list of servers is a mistaken idea for all the reasons Jupiter lists..

But I’d restate that fediblocking for any reason other than clearly non-moderated instances abusing others is a misuse of fediblocking I believe…

Fediverse News reshared this.


and if an instance is fediblocking they should disclose the list of blocked instances on their about page.

it does not seem their is a direct way to see which instances have been block by yours.

Fediverse News reshared this.

@Jupiter Rowland

Yes, well, that is kind of my point, and I’d like to emphasize that I was merely thinking out loud, from the perspective of a tight-knit community that perceives an outside threat: what white-listing does is not only to exclude small instances and entire projects, but literally locking it down to just that instance + eventual friends/instances.

I don’t think Kolektiva (in our example…could be others, and also other community types) believe that ”everyone else” will do the same as them, so at some point a decision has to be made on which trade-off one prefers.

But that brings me back to the question if it then, by that point, even makes sense to run an ActivityPub instance…I mean, if ”federating with the fediverse” (the absolutely main priority of all the fediverse services) is no longer a priority, surely there are better community building tools out there…? For those communities I mean.

@Tim Chambers @ophiocephalic 🐍 @Spread Mastodon

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@mathias @jupiter_rowland
Appreciate the attention to detail but wonder if this discussion got a bit lost in the weeds. No one wants a whitelist-only or Mastodon-only fediverse. What we are advocating for now is for us all to respond to Meta as we do to fascist/toxic instances. The technical details of implementing a schism are far less important that the big question - can we avoid it completely, and don't we want to?

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@ophiocephalic @mathias @jupiter_rowland
I'd say keep powder dry on mass defederation of Meta's Barcellona till we see what exactly it is.

It could be mass horribleness, or it could be a great opportunity to stay federated with it, engage and migrate non-technical users out of it to better Fediverse platforms.

Wasn't it like less than a month ago that instagram was blocking a 'join pixelfed' hashtag?

Who's to say they won't block individual servers that try to start a migration, or refuse to deliver those posts?

They will not play by established norms, we know this based on 2 decades of experience with this monopolistic and manipulative corporation. There is no scenario in which they will accept losses.

@ophiocephalic @mathias @jupiter_rowland @spreadmastodon

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@small patatas I'm getting lost. Should we block them to avoid them blocking us first?

For me, being here (in the Fediverse) and not posting original posts on the BigTech centralized services, which they can kick me off, moderate or cut me off from my content, was the main reason. I host my own instances. For the (very few) posts I do on a centralized service I have already posted it here (in the Fediverse) OR (more often these days) simply post a link to the Fediverse post in question (often with the #JoinTheFediverse tag).

My point is that my goal is still intact, no matter whichever other instance is set up. I still own my content. It can't be taken away from me. As I undisputably post it on a platform I control first it is not theirs, even if my post enriches a post that started off on their platform and they in some way might claim ownership of its content. If they were to decide to block me it goes like with any other block here in the Fediverse = unfortunate but, hey, that is how this place works...and if they do they will definitely not even be able to find a legal loop-hole that allows them to own my content in any way/shape/form.

On the flipside, if a service appears on the Fediverse that my current non-fedi friends thinks "hey, THAT is what I will join!" (despite me having chewed their ears off for months to come here in the first place) and it will mean I get to see their posts here, and to share my posts with them: good for them! Good for me!

In the meantime we (who are already present in the Fediverse) can look at what the new instances are doing, how they are doing it, if they are introducing new challenges/problems, and if those problems means we should adapt something in our existing services here.

Just my £0.02 and highly subjective thoughts.

@Jupiter Rowland @ophiocephalic 🐍 @Spread Mastodon @Tim Chambers

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@mathias @jupiter_rowland
Agree that we need more info. But skeptical on the prospect of a mass migration opportunity. It's highly unlikely Barcelona will provide account migration functionality. Theirs is a business model of enclosure and extraction, with zero incentive to provide captured users a means of escape.

Also suggest checking out this blog post by , which speculates on a partial, extractive ingest-only federation. Considering the stakes and who we're talking about, it's not unwarranted to consider worst-case scenarios

@ophiocephalic #meta won’t care whether they are #fediblock d or not. They do this for market positioning reasons vis-a-vis wanting to appear as the good guys wrt Twitter, not to actually interoperate with anybody. More detailed thoughts here:

All in favor of coming up with a coordinated response, when is your call? :-)

@ophiocephalic @mathias @jupiter_rowland @J12t

I'd say consider and pre-plan for everything: but don't assume anything till we see what we really have here.

And we wouldn't need their permission to encourage users and to offer links to get folks to migrate over.

Even if they don't support migrating over the social graph as they can on Fediverse platforms offering links to and simple migration tools will definitely be a possibility...

Agreed that we don't know what if anything actually #Meta's going to do with #P92 (@J12t makes some great points) but it will be #SurveillanceCapitalism because that's who they are. And if the biggest instance in #Fediverse is a surveillance capitalism site, then the fediverse will likely (and justifiably) be seen as a surveillance capitalism network.

@ophiocephalic @mathias @jupiter_rowland @spreadmastodon

@ophiocephalic #meta won’t care whether they are #fediblock d or not. They do this for market positioning reasons vis-a-vis wanting to appear as the good guys wrt Twitter, not to actually interoperate with anybody. More detailed thoughts here:

All in favor of coming up with a coordinated response, when is your call? :-)

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fedi won the mastodon war
I'd argue that it's a report on the diversity of Mastodon more than the diversity of the Fediverse...

May I ask why? I decided to analyze the MAU from Mastodon’s servers alone because I was suspicious that is not measured the same way across the softwares, so they might not be comparable.

However, the absolute account analysis (which reaches similar conclusions) include servers regardless of their software.