Worried about the dominance of big instances? No, really, this is quite natural.

As an emergent and self-governing system, it could be expected that the size distribution of instances roughly follows Zipf's law.

Does it?

At first you see the top 6 instances, and then the rest. But on a log-log scale the size distribution is close to a straight line, which would be expected from an emergent system.


The deviations are perhaps due to the still young age of the fediverse. Expect it to smooth out. But still, expect that the big instances will always dominate.

Data: 200 biggest instances from instances.social.



Oh, one bonus toot. Based on the top 200 instances, the s factor of Zipf's law on the fediverse is approximately 1.3. If all the instances were taken into account, the factor could change. But I didn't find a quick way to grab the table other than manually, so I only used the top 200 instances.

@mayel Thank you! Now if I only knew an easy way to extract just the user counts from that... :D

@mayel more like this:

cat list.json | tr ',' '\n' | grep users | tr -d '"users":' | sort -nr > usercount.txt

Seems to do what I want.

@mayel Ok, now that I got the data for 1746 instances, I can say that the s factor is about 1.33777, so pretty close to the original approximation of 1.3.

@mayel @Stoori
So the total number of #Mastodon user accounts is

(slurp "instances.social/list.json?q%5")))))))


One and a quarter million.

@mayel @Stoori By that methodology we're just over 1.5 million now, but more analysis shows that roughly one in six accounts are 'active', so the number of people participating is much less.

Still, the key point here is that the trend is currently sharply up.

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