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Day 26 of the 2021 Series:

Twitter Blue is coming! Yea, I don't care either.

mikestone.me/twitter-blue-is-c

@mike People lots of times value something more if they're paying for it than if it's free, because you get psychologically 'invested' in it and want to get your money's worth.

So ironically I think this new voluntary "Tweaker Blue" fee is as much about manipulating people's psychology to keep them engaged as it is about creating new revenue.

@TheRealClay @mike You wanted revenue, here it is. Gotta say though, people will still buy because “social standing”. Twitter, the place where even the birds would get disgusted.

@mike but they still aren't federating with us, that would make them relevant again afaic 🤔

@RyuKurisu Thankfully. I can't even begin to imagine what that would do to hosting prices if @kev and I had to sustain all that storage.

@mike @kev do you also have to host the other server's stuff? I thought (just like now) is on the other server's responsibility? 🤔

@RyuKurisu Some of it. I'm not sure what percentage it is. For example, @kev and I were the first 2 users on Fosstodon. Kev is literally user #1. Since he's in the UK and I'm in the US, he started his account and then started following people he liked. That opened up Fosstodon to federation (kinda the point). When I joined Fosstodon as the second OFFICIAL @fosstodon user, I'm not #2, I'm #32. The other 31 people are stuff that got synced across from other instances.

@mike @RyuKurisu @kev correct me if i’m wrong, as i’m still only 3 years into this software thing, but isn’t that a *huge* scaling issue?

@Spaceface16518 yep, it is. I believe our total storage (cached media and DB) is pushing 1TB now and we’re <20k users.

If an instance was to grow to hundreds of thousands, or millions of users, I’m not sure it would be sustainable. On the flip side, I suppose an instance never needs to get that big, as a new one can just be spun up. Thanks federation. 😊

@mike @RyuKurisu

@kev Makes me wonder how many exabytes Twitter must be hosting…

@mike As for blue. I personally welcome the new found luxury to have sites provide free services by harvesting our data and then open the opportunity for us to also pay them for the service. 😉

@Spaceface16518 @RyuKurisu

@kev @Spaceface16518 @mike but the data your store is just from your own users and interactions they have with users from other instances? So Twitter becoming a Mastodon instance wouldn't be an enormous scaling effort on your side, right? :thonking:

@RyuKurisu actually, no. A fair amount of data is cached locally from instances, as I understand it.

@Spaceface16518 @mike

@kev I picked some random accounts out of the Federated timeline that I'd never seen before, and they had between 1 and 12MB of cached media files on Fosstodon. That's just the pictures they've posted. If we average (ish), and assume each remote user would have 5MB of images, it would only require 200,000 remote users to generate another TB of storage for us. Twitter has an estimated 350 million active users. That's 1750TB of storage. Not accurate, but close enough.

@RyuKurisu @Spaceface16518

@mike @kev @RyuKurisu @Spaceface16518 ... but we only cache media from users who _someone_ follows, right?

1 TB & 20k users... sounds like each of them pulls in about 50 MB worth of external media each... so ~10 external follows per user? If twitter started federating... unless this resulted in fosstodon users following them a lot more than others on fedi, wouldn't these numbers stay basically unchanged?

@ssafar Nope. I found one user from a remote instance where no one from followed them, but they still had a little over 2MB of cached images on our system.

@kev @RyuKurisu @Spaceface16518

@mike @kev @RyuKurisu @Spaceface16518 interesting! maybe... because we also cache toots that someone followed by fossotodon replies to? we got to show the thread, after all

(this is also an excellent example how the Real World is always more complicated than made-up approximations showing that stuff Should Just Work :D)

@ssafar Honestly, taking Twitter out of the conversation here, this is something that should be added as a feature. We have the ability to block media attachments entirely as part of our federation options, but we should be able to disable caching on an instance by instance basis. That would be handy for things like pixelfed.social where there's nothing inherently wrong with the content, other than the fact that it adds up fast on the drives.

@kev @RyuKurisu @Spaceface16518

@mike @ssafar @kev @RyuKurisu @Spaceface16518 I had hell with storage of avatars and header images on my single user instance. It got to 12GB of storage before I asked about it and then 20GB before I did something about it. There’s nothing in Mastodon to cull them, and there’s a feature request about it where the official response is quite literally “lol buy more S3”. Literally had to write this script to query the database then generate a ruby script for Mastodon to execute. Runs as a cronjob.

@mike they totally missed the mark with this one. Had they said “for $5/m you will be able to edit tweets and get rid of ads” I think sales would have gone through the roof.

Per capita, I’m sure they can’t be making $5/m in ad revenue, surely? So it would be more profit for them.

@kev @mike removing ads is the main reason I like YouTube red, it's a massive win.

@kev @mike but ads stay? Tracking as well? Why would anyone pay for folders?

@Decentralize_today @kev @mike

>Imagine paying to get rid of ads instead of advertisers paying you
Yes this is shamless shilling, download Brave web browser to get paid to blast rope to futas while your privacy is respected

@Blakalakan Don’t shill. Also worth researching the general differences between pleroma & mastodon servers, the latter usually have a more strict moderation policy.

@Decentralize_today @kev @mike

@kev @mike from what I understand, Google intentionally operates YouTube at a loss, because the information they gather makes their ad system more valuable and they make it up that way.

Your solution would seem to give their targeted ads less reach, so I doubt they'd go for it.

@mike I think a useful feature can be tags/labels. I usually want to search through my toots/tweets to find a specific one and it is impossible on Mastodon and very hard on Twitter (or perhaps it is possible and/or easy and I’m just not aware of it)

@mike So, you'd be paying $3 for some features that I feel like most people wouldn't use if they were free? I think the undo feature is useful, but not worth paying for.

@mike
I think the undo feature needs an annoying anthropomorphic paper clip that taps your screen and asks if you really want to undo. That'd be a surefire money winner... wouldn't it?

@mike Originally I didn't like the idea of twitter blue but now it would be interesting to see something similar on mastodon.

Why not incorporate a patreon like subscription model into the fediverse to fund creators and projects?

When someone subscribes to an account, their contribution could go into the obvious card processing fees, but also toward funding the mastodon project, and funding the instance, and of course also the creator.

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Fosstodon

Fosstodon is an English speaking Mastodon instance that is open to anyone who is interested in technology; particularly free & open source software.