How to use the Lists feature on Mastodon

Mastodon includes a Lists feature which lets you create mini-timelines based on accounts you follow. For example, you could create a list which just shows posts from artists you follow, or just news accounts, or whatever kind of theme you want. (Note that for safety and privacy reasons, you cannot add accounts you do not follow to lists. However, see the advice below for hiding the contents of Lists from your Home timeline.)

You can create and use lists on the website version of Mastodon, and on third party Mastodon apps like Tusky for Android or Metatext for iPhone/iPad. However, it is not currently possible on the official app.

To create a list on the website interface using a computer:

  1. Open your profile page, then click on the section marked Following.
  2. Browse through the accounts you follow. When you find an account you want to add to a list, click on their name to open their profile page.
  3. On the profile of the person you want to add, click on the ︙ symbol and select Add or remove from lists. This will cause the Lists editor to open.
  4. If you want to add the person to new list, type a name for the new list into the white box marked New list title and then click the + sign next to the new list’s name. Alternatively, you can just click + next to an existing list’s name.
  5. Click anywhere outside the Lists editor box to close the editor.
  6. A link to your list will be visible on the right side of the screen. To see your list’s timeline, just click on its name. Lists start out empty but you will see posts on the list when someone on that list publishes their next post or boosts something.
  7. To edit or delete an existing list, click on the list’s name to open it and then click on the slider icon in the top right corner of the list. This editor also includes a search box for searching accounts you follow, if you prefer to add accounts to your list that way.

…and that’s it! You now have all the tools you need to use lists on Mastodon!

By the way, third party apps will have slightly different interfaces for lists, but it’s the same feature.

Can I view accounts on Lists without them appearing on my Home timeline?

Yes! Starting on Mastodon version 4.2.0, you can hide posts by accounts on your lists from appearing on your Home timeline:

  1. Log in through your server’s website
  2. Go to the Lists section
  3. Click on the list you want to hide on Home
  4. Click on the slider icon in the top right corner
  5. Select Hide these posts from home

This means you can have lists that are entirely separate from your Home timeline.

Why do I have to follow accounts that I add to Lists?

The following requirement is for the sake of safety and privacy.

On some social networks such as Twitter, list features have been misused by trolls and bullies to make lists of victims.

On Mastodon, the follow requirement gives people more control over being listed. If an account has follow requests activated, it lets them control whose lists they may end up on, and if an account blocks someone that also prevents them being added to that person’s lists.

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