I don't think people are realising the danger the Fediverse is in.
The only thing stopping corporations and VCs taking over this place is that the Fediverse is spread out on many different servers, which makes it very difficult to purchase.
If most of the Fediverse ends up on mastodon.social, which is now a strong possibility, there will be nothing to stop most of it being sold to Musk or Zuckerberg or whoever.
The bigger mastodon.social becomes, the more likely a buyout is to happen.
The comparison with IRC is not very meaningful: moving from one server to another is much easier because IRC users don’t lose followers, bookmarks, posts, etc.
The point is that IRC is normally used in a way that leaves more to the client. ActivityPub services usually expect that users put much more trust in the instances. It might be worth thinking about that.