Home / Latest News / Tech / Twitter Alternative Mastodon Adds Byline To Attract Writers, Journalists

Twitter Alternative Mastodon Adds Byline To Attract Writers, Journalists


image oftwitter alternative

Mastodon, the decentralized alternative to Twitter, is rolling out a new feature aimed at attracting journalists and enhancing user engagement. Starting Tuesday, the platform will introduce clickable author bylines on link posts, providing users direct access to the author’s account within the fediverse, if active. This feature is designed to boost journalists’ visibility and follower count across the network.

The updated bylines will prominently display the news publication’s headline and image, followed by the author’s profile photo and name. This represents a step beyond conventional @username mentions. Several prominent news outlets such as The Verge, MacStories, and MacRumors have already integrated this feature, with TechCrunch expected to follow suit soon.

To utilize these new bylines, users must access Mastodon via the main server at mastodon.social, either through the web interface or the official mobile app. Other Mastodon servers will need to support the latest Mastodon nightly release, and the feature will only function for websites approved by moderators. Mastodon’s API will also support these bylines, facilitating their adoption by third-party applications.

The technical implementation involves a new type of OpenGraph tag that dictates the thumbnail image displayed alongside the post preview when shared across various services like Mastodon, iMessage, and Discord. An example of this tag is: `<meta name=”fediverse:creator” content=”@Gargron@mastodon.social” />`. This tag format supports accounts on different federated platforms beyond Mastodon, such as Flipboard, Threads, WordPress (with ActivityPub plugin), PeerTube, Pixelfed, among others. However, it currently doesn’t accommodate multiple authors for co-byline scenarios, displaying only the primary author.

Mastodon plans to propose a specification draft for other ActivityPub platforms in the near future, potentially broadening the adoption of this feature across the federated social media landscape. This innovation is expected to encourage more journalists to join the fediverse, leveraging its expansive user base of over 10 million across various platforms, including Mastodon’s own 804,000 monthly active users.

Scroll to Top