The founder of Mastodon, Eugen Rochko, wants to talk to investors in the coming weeks about the possibility of charging money for offering hosting packages with Mastodon. Mastodon currently has no revenue model.
The intention is that the service will remain free for users and for hosters who arrange their own hosting, but that there will be a subscription for hosting their own Mastodon server via Mastodon GmbH itself. says Rochko to Techcrunch. With this, the founder wants to emulate Mozilla, the company that offers Firefox free and open source and wants to earn money from extra services such as a VPN subscription.
At the moment there are already hosting parties that offer hosting in combination with a Mastodon instance, and which are on the site of Mastodon. Many of them are currently unoccupied. Rochko, who is currently the sole employee of Mastodon GmbH, says he will talk to investors about the plans in the coming weeks.
Rochko has no plans for ads on Mastodon. The service currently has 2.5 million monthly active users on a total of 8,600 servers. The largest server is owned by Rochko itself, but Mastodon.social currently does not allow new accounts to be created. Scaling the server would take too much time, says the founder.
Rochko’s only source of income is a Patreon account, which brings in $31,000 a month, much more than $7,000 some time ago. Mastodon has been around since 2016 and has become more popular this year since Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter came out. Mastodon works on the basis of ActivityPub.