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Mastodon is an open source implementation of a federated social network with several running instances that is compatible with GNU social.


(this section is a stub, please expand!)

Feature summary:

Specific feature details:



Mastodon profiles show various information:


Mastodon’s h-feed support is better than their Atom support!

E.g. screenshot when trying to follow:


And display of an item from a Mastodon h-feed:




Mastodon has a notifications page that shows various items such as when others react to your posts:



The Atom feeds allow push notifications via WebSub, although this along with Atom support are considered legacy from its OStatus origins.

Federated Reply Interfaces

An interface for prompting the act of posting content from their preferred ActivityPub service of choice.

Screenshot 2020-08-10 Social PV.png

IndieWeb Examples

IndieWeb sites using Mastodon and/or interacting with Mastodon posts on other servers!

(stub section - please add === Yourself === with permalinks to different/interesting examples and dates of when first started interacting in those ways!)

Aaron Parecki

Aaron Parecki added initial support for ActivityPub around 2018-07-04 in order to be able to receive likes and comments, and reply to Mastodon users.

As of 2018-07-23, Aaron Parecki has about 64 followers from various ActivityPub profiles, and has a few posts that have received a mix of replies from Mastodon and other ActivityPub users.

IndieWeb Support

Building Blocks

IndieWeb Building Blocks that Mastodon supports:

rel-me support

Mastodon uses rel-me to support "verified" site links in a green box with a green checkmark next to the verified site.

Cropped screenshot of Bianca Kastl’s Mastodon profile showing website field with their domain and a green checkmark indicating it’s been verifiedCropped screenshot of Greg McVerry’s Mastodon profile showing website fields with their domain and profile with green checkmarks next to each indicating they’ve been verified

To Be Proposed

These are ideas/suggestions for Mastodon to support more indieweb building blocks. Feel free to file them in and then move them (and their issue link) to the Requests section below.

  • WebSub support. Given Mastodon's h-feed support, WebSub support would be great for realtime notifications of updates from Mastodon profiles.
  • ...


IndieAuth Provider

Requested on Twitter: by @Lady_Ada_King November 14, 2018:

"Indie Web Awesomeness: You can use <a rel="me"> to verify you own the sites in your mastodon profile!

It would be really cool if you could use mastodon as an authentication provider for"
Since Mastodon already supports OAuth 2, and all users already have a URL, adding IndieAuth to Mastodon would not be a huge leap.

It was also discussed in the following GitHub issue:


Micropub support requested on, Mastodon, and indieweb personal site:

    • " I think Micropub in Mastodon is a great idea! It's a simple API (especially for posting) with support from a lot of different tools now." @manton November 13, 2018
    • "There are a bunch of great Micropub apps for the Web, iOS and Android so I definitely think it would be helpful to add Micropub support. "

Founder @Gargron noted Micropub support is “A lot simpler than ActivityPub C2S”:


Please consider rejections as opportunities to listen for feedback on how to improve indieweb building blocks, and always respond politely. It's a good thing when people spend their own time to analyze these requests and provide their reasons for rejection.

  • 2018-04-03: Webmention sending support was surveyed (most were for it), but rejected (2018-04-03) for a set of privacy concerns that are worth addressing or at least having answers for. E.g. "It's a privacy violation that people aren't expecting", is no more true for sending Webmentions than sending referrer headers, or allowing search engine indexing — all of which could be gated on the same site/user preference.
  • 2017-04-21: Subscribe to Atom feeds directly [1]
    • Update: "I do not plan on supporting Atom feeds that don't have Webfinger and Salmon (i.e. non-interactive, non-user feeds)"
  • ...

If you want to re-request a rejected feature, please at a minimum:

  • document the list of specific reasons for rejection of a feature
  • somehow fix or address (via documentation etc.) the reasons for rejection, i.e. here on the wiki, or by updating the spec for the rejected feature.
  • wait some amount of time before re-requesting. case-by-case judgment call. i.e. if you're able to quickly address all the problems noted, follow-up with a thank you for the feedback and link to where you have addressed the problems. otherwise consider waiting at least a few months, perhaps even a year before re-requesting. In either case, make it very clear what changes have occurred that make the feature request worthy of reconsideration.



See Mastodon Github Issues:


Resolved or apparently resolved past issues.

One Primary Instance

Resolution: Apparently resolved as there is a growing number of Mastodon instances (and the "primary" instances is now closed to new signups). See:


One danger, that projects like Mastodon face, is when they are used as a service by more than one user, any downtime will affect multiple users. For instance, on the morning of Nov 11, 2016 the instance was down briefly and displayed a generic server error.

In this regard, promoting "" the site in particular as an alternative to Twitter (e.g. see tweets encouraging "join me on") merely encourage users to go from one silo, to a perhaps more open source-based and more open standards supporting silo, yet still dependent on another central org.

As a contrast, if each user were to run their own Mastodon instance, one instance going down would not affect multiple users in this fashion. Second best would be if users who choose not to run on their own servers were instead encouraged get together with someone that does, which again, would limit the exposure of when one instance goes down. But when such users all join a single server (e.g. the site itself) or any platform with similar architecture, they will suffer from this single point of failure in design.

On the other hand, multi-user instances benefit from shared community oversight, in the form of having admins and moderators who (presumably) actively block known-hostile instances and users.

Update (and one way to resolve this!) As of 2017-04-04 (or earlier?) is no longer accepting sign-ups and directing people to sign-up elsewhere:

"Due to exceptionally high traffic, registrations on this instance are closed until quality of service can be assured for existing users. Choose one of the various other public instances to sign up!"


Federating Directly with Mastodon

Some in the IndieWeb community are working on bridging the gap between the Fediverse and the IndieWeb efforts, some of these include Advanced plugins/extensions/software which shouldn't require a Mastodon account on an instance as they make your site behave like a standalone instance of Mastodon:

  • Ryan Barrett has released Bridgy Fed which allows one to let their own website federate directly into Mastodon and other networks in various ways. Released in October 2017, it's still under development.
  •  Matthias Pfefferle has a WordPress OStatus plugin which supports a variety of post kinds on Mastodon; it includes a handful of sub-plugins (Webfinger, Salmon, Activity Streams, etc.) to get everything working. Some of the pieces are out of date in October 2017, but are being upgraded over time.
  • Aaron Parecki implemented the bare minimum of the ActivityPub spec to be able to comment on Mastodon posts and receive comments, as well as to be able to be followed by Mastodon users. To follow Mastodon users, he follows their profile pages which contain Microformats markup. To receive comments, incoming "Inbox" notifications are discarded and are forwarded on via Webmention instead, which works since Mastodon permalinks contain good Microformats for parsing the reply.
  • All hosted blogs with a custom domain can set up a Mastodon-compatible ActivityPub feed in their account settings, so that Mastodon users can follow and interact with them:



  • Choosing a particular instance can not only be difficult, but finding one that will have some longevity and treat its users' data respectfully can be spotty.
    • As of 2019-02-23 From the 2017-04-15 Mashable article "Mastodon has an instance for Everyone" only 3 of the 9 Mastodon instances it links to are still up or actually still Mastodon (others are spam, random WordPress, or NSFW squatters)
  • 2018-08-17 Criticism: DM/PM lack of privacy/encryption:
    • "Just as a heads-up, don’t use PMs/DMs on Mastodon, and if you have to never share any private information.Admins of sending and receiving instances can read those, as there is no end-to-end encryption. Even if you trust the admins, instance ownership could change or hackers or government could get in. Use different tools designed specifically for this." @thomasfuchs August 17, 2018
  • 2018-08-16 Criticism: apparent non-priority of losing followers problem:
    • "@frankmeeuwsen @benwerd

      It's completely possible, just not with Mastodon's current architecture. There's a long thread about it on the GitHub issue tracker. The gist is it would require a large change and even if the changes were made, it would be difficult to migrate existing instances.

      I think it would be straightforward to design/implement this transition, especially since it's basically a solved problem. But the lead dev is more interested in his other ideas than this feature. :blobcry:" @0x1C3B00DA August 16, 2018
  • 2018-08-16 Criticisms (tweetstorm):
    • "THREAD: In light of so many folks moving to Mastodon/the Fediverse, i want to re-up a couple of threads i did last year about safety and other issues. None of these have gone away, and the increased volume is gonna make them worse, not better." @adrienneleigh August 16, 2018
  • Thread:
    • "This is why I believe federated social networks are never going to work out long term. Someone who starts an instance doesn't know they're signing up for thousands of hours a year wading through the cloaca of the internet. That shit is *terrible* for you." @rahaeli September 2, 2018


On 2016-05-02 at 7:05 am IST. D180CDI.png



See Also