More Misskey News: Funding, Ads & The Future (Oh My!)

I want you for Misskey development

Image Credit: Misskey

Real Sound was able to interview (creator & founder of Misskey) & (who operates & is in charge of infrastructure).

The interview was lengthy, but it was fascinating to read what the minds behind Misskey have in store for the software, as well as the cost of running Misskey (software as well as the server).

This (translated) part caught my attention regarding the cost of running Misskey.

syuilo: Well, with the number of users rapidly increasing, how to monetize it is an urgent issue. This applies to both the io management side and the Misskey development side. For the former, we are currently implementing features that will make it easier to monetize Misskey without significantly impairing user convenience. Regarding the latter, I feel that it is more difficult to solve the problem because developers have limited monetization methods compared to operators. Currently, we rely on support from users, but there are limits to that alone.

Mastodon, which is also an OSS, has many sponsors and has become a corporation, so if Misskey can become like that, it will be able to financially support other developers, so we are looking for a better way. I want to.

Mr. Murakami: Regarding io, currently (August 2023) server costs are around 2 million yen per month, and this is expected to come down to around 500,000 yen per month in the future through optimization. In addition to my own pocket money, I have been able to raise money mainly from support from users. io has experienced rapid increases and decreases in users, so its design is very scalable, and the number of servers increases or decreases according to the number of users, but currently the server cost is 1.5% per the number of users. Since we are receiving twice or twice as much support, we expect that we will be able to maintain operations if we cut costs. (...)

Murakami: Currently, we have an advertising system, but it only appears once when you load the timeline. Therefore, the number of times you see it as a mechanism is quite low. Advertising revenue is less than 1/10 of the server cost, so we don't expect it to be a source of income. Also, considering the feelings of users who have migrated from X, I don't think it would be beneficial for users to increase advertisements excessively. There are many users who have “escaped” to io from profit-oriented platforms, and I think they feel like “I don't mind paying money to get rid of the ads.” I think these people have a good impression of Misskey and io's management philosophy and are supporting us. (Real Sound)

I knew Misskey was attempting to offset the cost of operating Misskey, but I did not realize just how expensive it was to run an instance.

For those unfamiliar with the Japanese Yen, ¥‎2,000,000 ≈ $13,530! To put things into perspective, it would be cheaper to rent an apartment in New York City or Los Angeles (potentially combined) than to run Misskey. Fortunately they plan on reducing the cost fourfold to ¥‎500,000 per month (or about $3,383) which is manageable.

Even though I do not mind the ads posted on Misskey’s flagship instance (as they are not intrusive), I am glad they are actively seeking ways to move away from the advertising business model.

As far as the future of Misskey goes, the creator & contributors have some significant plans for the platform.

Murakami: I'm happy to say that there are a lot of creators among Misskey's core users. Since we have a lot of composers and illustrators, we would like to implement features that will please these users. There are many people who are active in areas such as VR and Metaverse, so if you are an expert in these areas, please come and visit io with Misskey.

syuilo: Lastly, if you are interested, please try using Misskey. I hope you will come into contact with Fediverse through Misskey and experience the Internet, which may become major in the future. (Real Sound)

When it comes to Virtual Reality (VR), only one prominent instance by the name of Counter Social (a de-federated Mastodon variant) has embraced VR as a feature.

Aptly named Counter Realms, these virtual rooms are based on Mozilla Hubs. The Misskey team might want to explore what Counter Social is doing to help visualize how VR would work best within Misskey.

For those wondering why VR should even be considered an option, I suspect Apple’s Augmented Reality (AR) “ski goggles” (also known as Vision Pro) might popularize VR / AR amongst the affluent masses.

Note: For those with generous pockets, you can support Misskey over here.

👨🏾‍💻 by Darnell Clayton 🔛

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