Since version 4.2.0, Mastodon allows full text search where the entire contents of posts is included when people do searches.
For privacy and safety reasons, the full text search feature is entirely on an opt-in basis. By default your posts are NOT available to search by that method, and you have to actively opt into full text search to make your public posts searchable without hashtags.
To opt into full text search:
- Log in through your server’s website
- Click on your profile icon, this will take you to your profile page
- Click on Edit Profile button
- Click on the tab labelled Privacy & Reach
- Tick the box marked Include public posts in search results
- Click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the screen
If you change your mind, do the same steps again but untick the box and then save changes.
What if I don’t want to be searchable?
By default, your posts are NOT part of the full text search system. You have to actively opt in using the steps above if you want people to be able to search your entire posts.
When opted out of full text search, your posts are only searchable by hashtag.