In November 2023, Sujitech, an entity affiliated with Mask Network donated US$100K to Mastodon, a non-profit decentralized social media. This donation is by far the largest single donation Mastodon has received. In a blog post, Felix Hlatky, CFO of Mastodon, addressed the significance of this donation.
“Building Mastodon, which encompasses the core software on one end, and two native mobile applications on the other, is not cheap, and we can only afford a handful of full-time positions right now, relying in many ways on volunteer work,” he wrote, “They have saved multiple Mastodon servers from shutting down by taking over their maintenance when the original owners were unable to continue to operate them, and in 2021, we had teamed up to build the first prototype of the official iOS app for Mastodon.”
Since Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter (now officially known as X) in 2022, many users started seeking alternate social media platforms over the fear of Twitter’s uncertain future under the new leadership. The decentralized nature of Mastodon made itself a safe haven for many social media users, and Mastodon has seen a surge in its users among all servers in November 2022. As of November 25th, 2023, Mastodon has 1.5 million monthly active users, with 9.5k servers up.
The Mask Network team has supported Mastodon for a long time by maintaining mstdn.jp and mastodon.cloud, two of the most prominent Mastodon instances since June 2020. Mask Network has also acquired pawoo.net, one of the largest Mastodon instances and started its maintenance on December 21st, 2022. Besides that, Sujitech also helped develop the first official iOS Mastodon app, which launched in August 2021.
“We believe that Decentralized Social is essential. Mask Network has been trying to create a seamless user experience to transfer between the current centralized Web and Decentralized Web; we believe Mastodon serves the same ethos. Mastodon is a gateway for people to become familiar with Decentralized Social while maintaining a user experience similar to traditional Web2 social media. By backing Mastodon, we want to accelerate the future development of decentralized social media, ” said Suji Yan, founder of Mask Network
Along with the donation, the Mask Network team will team up with Mastodon for an upgraded system. Potential changes include further DID support in Mastodon; moving all data on Mastodon to a distributed network and storing it decentralized; and introducing end-to-end encrypted direct messages to provide a more secure and private communication.