Mastodon, the federated microblogging platform, has been updated to version 4.2which comes with massive improvements to the search and web interface, particularly for new and logged-in users.
One of the many charming qualities of Mastodon is that, unlike
This is good in many ways. You can create a small intentional community on your local server, and servers that are full of abusive, illegal and harmful content and/or users are largely excluded. But it presents some, shall we say, unintuitive workflows for people used to single-instance networks. Mastodon 4.2 makes several of them work a little more as you’d expect.
For example, as of Mastodon 4.2, now you can use the search box to search for posts. In previous versions, you could search for hashtags, usernames, and display names, but you couldn’t search for the content of profiles or posts (except by pasting the URL, which we’ll get to). Now, it works more like the search box on basically any other website. In the post announcing the new version.Eugen Rochko, founder and CEO of Mastodon, directly recognizes the search interface in Ivorya third-party Mastodon app, as inspiration for your search review.
Another fun quirk about federated media is that even if you’re logged into Mastodon on your own instance, you’re No you’ve logged into any of the others in a way that doesn’t make sense if you’re not used to it. If you are logged in
cheep Post it and you can retweet it, reply to it, feature it, whatever. You are all on the same server.
On the other hand, a link to a Mastodon post opens on the server on which it is posted. If you try to interact with the post and you’re not logged into that specific server, you won’t be able to! To participate, you had to copy the URL, go back to his For example, paste it into the search box and so do whatever you were going to do (assuming you remember).
With version 4.2, if you try to favorite, reply, repost, or interact with a post or profile outside of your own instance, a dialog box appears asking you to open it in your own instance, which you’ll find by typing your name in a dialog box (has autocomplete).
This saves a few steps compared to previous versions, but is still gentle a lot of work compared to virtually any non-federated network. (Blue sky It’s theoretically federated but only has one instance, so this hasn’t really come up there).
Many third-party applications already include better searches and interactions between servers. Ivory’s influence has already been mentioned and my editor claims to have not encountered any of these issues in monkey. I use Toot! on my phone and the web interface on the desktop, so it sure is.
If you haven’t tried Mastodon yet, or tried it and bounced, you may be interested to know that 4.2 also improves the registration process in the web interface. Rochko writes:
User testing has helped us identify areas where people get lost during registration, so we added progress indicators to guide people through the multi-step registration process and rewrote the text and labels to be more intuitive. Upon logging in, you will be prompted with recommended first steps including completing your profile, following people, making your first post, and sharing your profile outside of Mastodon.
These are welcome changes! I’ve been taking Mastodon on and off for six and a half years and there’s a lot to like about it. Making it easier to use is a good thing.
One last note: the search and web interface improvements only appear on servers that have version 4.2 installed. That includes mastodon.social and mastodon.online, both managed by Mastodon gGmbH, the non-profit organization that runs the Mastodon project. Other cases
like the one I’m in, It hasn’t been updated yet.
Updated September 21 at 6:25 pm ET: My instance has now been updated to 4.2.