Many servers have chosen new top-level domains, with .social the clear winner.
Twitter alternative Mastodon garnered a lot of attention after Elon Musk took over Twitter.
Mastodon is built on open source software. Rather than signing up for the main service like you do with Twitter, Facebook, or TikTok, you join a server running Mastodon. These servers are managed by various people or companies.
And, importantly for domain names, these servers usually have their own second-level domain name.
For example, you can subscribe to the origin server operated by the non-profit organization Mastodon gGmbH, mastodon.social. Or choose learningdisability.social, an inclusive community for people interested in learning disabilities.
There are currently 6.1 thousand servers and 1.8 million active monthly users on Mastodon.
Examining the server list shows that the new top-level domains are popular for those running each instance. Mastodon lists 57 servers that have accepted the Mastodon Server Covenant. Here is the breakdown of the top-level domains of these servers:
One of each: .ai, .app, .au, .be, .ca, .chat, .club, .co, .exchange, .games, .gr, .ie, .lgbt, .lol, .nu, . nz, .party, .press, .scott, .sh.to, .uk, .us, .wales, .world, .xyz, .zone
A handful of them are subdomains built on existing websites. And keep in mind that these are just the ones highlighted on the Mastodon website.
According to nTLDStats, .social saw an increase in registration volume this month:
With around 6,000 servers, raw registration numbers are nothing special for new top-level domains. But each of these areas is now usedwhat is essential: every user is exposed to top-level domains.
Mastodon gGmbH uses joinmastodon.org for its website. I contacted the owner of mastodon.com a few weeks ago to see if he was experiencing an increase in traffic, but got no response.