Brands, influencers, celebrities, marketers, and the like on Mastodon aka the Fediverse.

2 minute read

People are wondering and asking what’s going to happen on Mastodon and the Fediverse once those mentioned in the title of this post are on and active pushing their wares.

What’s going to happen (based on my experience on Mastodon and around social media/technology):

They will have to play nice and add to the conversations going on or risk not being able to communicate with the vast majority of servers.

Why do I think this? A couple of reasons:

  1. Each instance has it’s own rules that the members of that instance follow, in addition to remote instances by extension. If an instance is full of spambots or users harassing others on other instances the admin will defederate (block communication) with that instance. If a brand, company or celebrity were to join an instance they’d have to follow the same rules as all the other members. Every account is on the same playing field and gets no special treatment from an algorithm due to the number of followers, likes and boosts or paying to promote a post.

  2. If a giant multinational company decides to jump onto the fedi and join an instance, why would they put the control and reach of their brand or marketing in the hands of someone on the internet? They will want to have an instance using their domain name and controlled by their employees or a hosting company they pay for reliable service (think websites or email servers). This is where it gets interesting. IF a company was to be constantly spamming promotional material, not being a positive member of the overall fediverse or a number of reasons admins might decide to block them. Now what? Who will the brand be promoting to? Do they open up the ability for fans to sign up, if so is there budget/staff for moderation?

There are, for lack of better words, “systems” in place that make sure people play nice. The entire network benefits, look how many great conversations are happening across Mastodon and the Fediverse.

People and companies are use to sending out updates to their thousands of followers, then only checking the initial replies, then watching the analytics will have to now engage if they want to foster growth and numbers. You can pick up the bullhorn on Mastodon and talk, but it’s more effective to pick up the phone and have a conversation.

Oh, speaking of analytics. There’s pretty much none of that on Mastodon.

But BT! What if they own their own instance?

Good question! The way that people view posts is on their home server, which is a copy of the text and any media attached to it. A company can’t get an accurate number or real idea of how many people saw a post on another instance. The only metric they have that can be used in the traditional analytics is how many boosts/reblogs or likes which are transmitted back to the companies instance. Which for a company in a way is good since that’s for the most part real people engaging with a post. So they may find that they get a better idea of how affective a post is since there are fewer bots and fake accounts muddying the waters. Those of you on the fedi, how different is the population of the network compared to other platforms? That’s due to your instance admin actively banning those breaking rules (this is a good time to remind people to report any posts/toots that break your instances rules).

So in the end, I’m not worried about brands, influencers, celebrities, marketers, and others joining the Fediverse. I welcome them with open arms, there is a steep learning curve with somethings but if you actually listen and get to know people whatever your reason is for joining will be more fruitful.

Lastly, get to know and follow the local admin and mods of your instance and check if they have a way for you to help pay the bills, at the very least say thank you to them. You’ll make their day.