As Twitter users continue to flock to Mastodon, the social networking site that prioritizes decentralization, we investigate its founder Eugen Rochko, who seems to have started the next big thing at an impressively young age.
Following Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter in October, which spawned a series of controversial changes and rumors surrounding the site, some users have flocked to rival social media site Mastodon.
The fast growing site now has more than 5.9 million accountswith a reported number of active users of over 3.6 million people.
Eugen Rochko’s age and background
And the man behind the latest social media craze is Rochko, a European techie who is remarkably still in his twenties.
Although Rochko expresses his passion for online communication, he keeps the details about his personal life rather quiet. He is 29 years old, born in 1993, and is German of Russian Jewish descent.
Rochko has spoken out several times on Twitter, a company deserves more criticism because it’s owned and operated by one large, central entity, unlike Mastodon, where each server is run by a different group of people.
Rochko started coding with friends while in high school. The skill became something of a passion for the innovative social media guy who went on to study computer science at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany.
Rochko started Mastodon in college
And it was during Rochko’s studies that the idea of Mastodon was born.
The computer student started coding the site as a side project, with Rochko tells TIME magazine that when he first started creating the site he “had no ambition to make it big”.
Rochko continued to develop his passion project after becoming increasingly tired of Twitter and launched a BETA version of the site to gauge feedback within the tech community.
The site officially launched in late 2016 and had recruited hundreds of thousands of active members within a year of its release.
However, the site’s progress has surged at an unprecedented level in recent weeks, so much so that the site’s servers have reportedly struggled to handle the massive increase in traffic.
The creator of Mastodon is feeling the thrill of the influx of new members
While one would expect that the number of computer server outgrowths would be the stuff of dreams for most tech start-ups, Rochko seems stressed by recent developments.
In an interview with WIREDRochko explained the detrimental effects the increased workload has had on him lately: “People probably want to hear that it’s been great – all this growth and success – but I’d rather watch from the sidelines.
“There is more work, there are more fires to put out. It’s incredibly stressful. I pull 14 hour workdays, sleep very little and eat very little.
Rochko went on to explain that he is desperately in need of some time off, lamenting that he “doesn’t have time to sit back and enjoy” the success of his creation.
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