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Oh - I dug a bit into Mastodon and out of the 4 biggest pods, 3 of them are ... well, a bit unconventional.

Pawoo (92,652 last month active users) and mstdn.jp (46,247) are basically the Twitter alternative for Japanese users who want to post lolicon porn.

Switter (72,012) is sex worker friendly Twitter alternative.

Out of the top 4, only mastodon.social (70,827) is what you'd call a "mainstream" Twitter alternative. Even so, it alone is still 3 times as large as diaspora, going by last month active users.

My point is - if you don't really get the impression that Mastodon is as "big" as these numbers suggest, it may simply be because your online presence doesn't intersect much with the big Mastodon user bases.
 
I don't dispute the Mastadon numbers making them a large part of the federated space. An analogy on the type is more along the lines of FB and G+ users cross posting to Twitter as a public broadcast of targeted content and Twitter users using G+ and FB for both public and private conversations amid societal connections. Contrast it to the federated space we havee Diaspora and Hubzilla and Friendica etc serving the purpose as G+ and FB with Mastadon emulating Twitter. Twitter, Google, and FB are not adequately enforcing their own terms of service. At least in the decentralized space, it can be done on smaller scales. Users will drive growth along the lines of what they want to see.