Gnu Social had grown a bit quiet the last time I used it. I changed identities a few times after trying twice to establish my own instance, and people got tired of trying to re-follow me and I can't blame them (that's one thing that works better on Hubzilla).
In general, because of its core users, GS brings a different and sometimes hopeful way of looking at many of the issues that concern me. I find views and opinions here that are hard to find on Twitter or Google+. The commercial networks have vast numbers of people, and still they worry about $. On GS there is confidence regardless of the number of users and shaky platform it's all built on.
Now Mastodon seems to be having a good effect on the rest of the federation, and brings in some new voices, some of them more mainstream. Eventually, I think that federated social networks will prevail over the mega-capital dinosaurs.