Mastodon working on nicer hashtags

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read
Mastodon working on nicer hashtags

There is a pull request created by Mastodon head honcho Eugen Rochko called Change hashtags at the end of the post to render out-of-band that has me quite happy. In short, it is a change that would let users flip a setting that extracts hashtags from the bottom of posts and displays them in a group below posts in the web UI.

So basically, if your post was going to be:

Now that will render like this:

If this sounds familiar, it could be because you read my post in May where I argued that Mastodon should let users apply blog-style tags to posts so that we could utilize Mastodon's discovery features without cluttering up our posts with spammy hashtags. Here's the mock up:

At the time I listed 3 main reasons I thought this would be good:

  1. It's easier for people to write like humans, not as SEO machines.
  2. Legibility of posts goes up since it becomes plain text without any inline markup.
  3. Accessibility features like VoiceOver would work better since they would not need to read out the word "hashtag" in the middle of sentences.

So I was asking for post-level tags, so I could indicate a topic of my post was about the iPhone, for example, and then I could write whatever I wanted in the body of the post/toot. This change is not exactly that, but it does move in the right direction. I'd fully expect this new section to be contained in a new div on the page, so you could even use something like Arc's boosts to hide these appended hashtags if you don't want to see them.

So bring it on, I say! And app developers reading this post, I'd love it if you considered adding this to your apps as well (Ivory, my mock up is not-so-subtly based on your app 😛).

Update: Eugen Rochko confirmed that they were inspired by that original post. I'm over the moon ❤️