Workshop Proceedings of the 18th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media

Workshop: DeWeb 2024: 1st International Workshop on Decentralizing the Web

DOI: 10.36190/2024.43

Published: 2024-06-01
Do Servers Matter on Mastodon? Data-driven Design for Decentralized Social Media
Carl Colglazier

When trying to join Mastodon, a decentralized collection of interoperable social networking servers, new users face the dilemma of choosing a home server. Using trace data from millions of new Mastodon accounts, we show that new accounts are less likely to remain active on the network's largest general instances compared to others. Additionally, we observe a trend of users migrating from larger to smaller servers. Addressing the challenge of onboarding and server selection, the paper proposes a decentralized recommendation system for server using hashtags and the Okapi BM25 algorithm. This system leverages servers' top hashtags and their frequency to create a recommendation mechanism that respects Mastodon's decentralized ethos.