Medium Embraces Mastodon: What marketers need to know about this decentralized social network?

Published: January 13, 2023

min read

Online publishing forum Medium, has now announced that it’s embracing the open source Mastodon platform. It will launch its own Mastodon community, named "," to support its authors and publications.

Mastodon has been gaining popularity as a significant fraction of users from Twitter have flocked to this new decentralized social network. Similar to Twitter, it’s a social microblogging platform, albeit one with a decentralized nature. Users can create their own communities, which have their own set of rules, content moderation guidelines, and home timelines.

The social microblogging platform has grown to 2.5 million monthly active users in recent days, up from just 300,000 in October 2022.

Medium has embraced Mastodon to create an "interesting local feed" and a place for discussions around Medium’s content.

To date, we’ve focused on article-length writing. It’s how our company got its name: as a home for medium-length writing on the internet. By contrast, Mastodon is primarily for short-form writing of 500 characters or less … Today we are extending what we do into the short-form medium (lowercase m) with an instance on Mastodon,

Tony Stubblebine, CEO, Medium

Medium isn’t alone in realizing the need to find a Twitter alternative. Newsletter publisher Substack recently launched a discussions feature that enables short chats between writers and readers within its own app. Flipboard also recently launched a Notes feature for a similar purpose. And Tumblr owner is planning to adopt ActivityPub, the decentralized social networking protocol that powers Mastodon.

For Mastodon, the launch of a Medium instance could help further boost its userbase, as Medium today touts a network of over 100 million readers. Even if only a tiny percentage of those joined Medium’s Mastodon, it could represent a decently sized influx of new "fediverse" users, as the networked Mastodon servers are called.

Medium says it will begin inviting select authors and publications to be in an early group of testers before inviting all writers and readers in the near future.

Mastodon – an emerging force in social media?

Mastodon is a name that has been popping up time and again ever since the Twitter takeover by Elon Musk. As of now, it is an ad-free and algorithm-ridden network that is centred around community building. That said, there are multiple ways businesses can take advantage of this surge of interest in Mastodon:

  • Market research – Dig deep into a self-contained community built around a single topic, locality, shared interest, or even a specific career.
  • Community Building – Build a close-knit community presence, steer conversations, and create a place for brand champions to interact or share their stories.
  • Community Outreach – Reach out to new communities with similar interests, join conversations, share content, and become a trusted expert.

While there’s still a long way to go for Mastodon to catch up with Twitter’s 238 million daily active users, it is currently one of the most promising alternatives to the centralized walled gardens of Meta or Google.

Mastodon’s Fediverse indeed provides new avenues for organizations to explore and reach out to new audiences. The easiest way to get started is to create an account, get a quick sense of the type of content that garners the most engagement under the network’s Explore tab, launch a brand instance or server, set up baseline community rules to follow, and start inviting users.

While you cannot gain instant reach and visibility at the outset, you can gradually build a vibrant organic presence. For those seeking earned media love, the potential is there.

The best part of this social network is that brands have complete control to seed conversations around specific topics, communicate with audiences proactively, and analyze consumer sentiments. But this can also leave a lot of businesses clueless about its functionality and complex structure. Like all new platforms, there is a learning curve.

In essence, Mastodon is a different paradigm of social media that has a long way to go.


Jasmine Jackson

Jasmine is a social media maven with a talent for building engaged communities. She's a natural storyteller and has a way of making complex ideas accessible to everyone. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, and exploring new cuisines.


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