If you want to discover new accounts from people you don’t know, this page has lots of suggestions for how to do this!
If you want to follow people you already know in real life, the most reliable way to do that is to exchange account addresses with them, the same way you would exchange phone numbers. Click here to go to the account address guide.
Maybe the easiest way to to discover new accounts on particular topics is to follow hashtags. This means posts using a particular tag will appear in your home timeline automatically as soon as they’re posted, including posts from people you don’t follow. Click here for more details on how to follow hashtags.
Follow people to discover even more people
When you follow an account, that account will often share interesting posts from others, and pretty soon you’ll be following some of the authors of those shared posts too. There is no algorithm on Mastodon and the Fediverse, it’s all human beings, and word of mouth is a significant way to discover interesting accounts.
Another method is to browse human-run Fediverse directories. They only list a fraction of the users on the Fedi, but they’re a really good way of beginning the process of building up your timeline. The people you follow will then share posts from others, and soon you’ll be discovering even more accounts to follow just by browsing your own timeline.
Here are some good Fediverse directories:
- Fedi.Directory ⧉ is a human-curated collection of Fediverse accounts that tend to post about specific topics, so it’s a smaller selection but with more guaranteed quality. (By the way, I’m the one who maintains this directory!)
- Trunk is a community-run opt-in directory ⧉ of people looking for followers. Users decide which categories they go in, and the listings are moderated by the site’s maintainers.
- Fediverse.info is a keyword-based opt-in database ⧉ of people looking for followers. Users decide which keywords they have on their profiles.
- FediVideo ⧉ shares videos and livestreams from around the Fediverse. If you’re interested in video-based Fedi accounts to follow, this is a good way to discover them. You can follow at @FediVideo@social.growyourown.services ⧉.
Look at trending posts
To see trending posts (and potential people to follow), browse the “Explore” tab on your server’s website.
- To access Explore on your server’s website, click the # Explore link on the right of the screen. You can also browse Explore on other servers’ websites if you want to, as it doesn’t require logging in.
- To access Explore on the official apps click the magnifying glass and leave the search box blank. There’s no Explore label on the official apps, but it’s the same contents as Explore. This will show you trending posts and hashtags which will help you discover even more interesting people. There’s also an extra tab labelled “Community” which is the same thing as the Local timeline on the web interface.
Trending posts on Explore are based on how often they have been recently boosted.
Hang out on the timelines
Finally, the most traditional approach to discovery is simply to hang out on the timeline, search for particular hashtags, browse the Local or Federated timelines and follow any accounts you find interesting.