A brief Mastodon guide for newcomers

This is a quick reference guide for brand new Mastodon (and Fediverse) users who may be feel like they’re screaming into the void when they first join mograph.social (or any other instance for that matters).

Mograph.social is a Mastodon server that is part of a much more vast network of other servers called “The Fediverse”.

You have chosen to subscribe to this server because, most probably, you’re interested in motion design, animation or VFX (or anything else in the field) and now you’d like to connect with like-minded individuals, start conversations, join conversations, socialise in general (hey, isn’t it what social media are for, after all?)

Here’s a few helpful things to know:


If you’re coming from Twitter this is a brief nomenclature that might come in handy:

  • Toot = Tweet
  • Boost = Retweet
  • Favourite = Like


You have 3 different timelines on mograph.social:

  • Home
  • Local
  • Federated

The Home timeline will show all the toots and boosts from yourself and the people you follow, weather they’re on mograph.social or on any other server. Consider this your “curated” timeline, similar to your home feed on Twitter.

The Local timeline will show all the toots generated from the users on mograph.social. This is a good way to have a feel of the community and to join mograph-related conversations.

The Federated timeline will show ALL the toots from ALL the accounts that ALL the users on mograph.social are currently following. This is a really good tool to have a peek outside our little server and join the vast Fediverse community.

Of course there are also direct messages, and a column for all the notifications.

First steps


It’s good netiquette in the Fediverse to post a short introduction about yourself and tag it with #introduction. If you use other hash tags in the introduction toot as well, it would be even more useful for people to find you and eventually follow you. You can also consider pinning your #introduction toot to your profile, it’s a good way to extend your bio info section.

Create your profile

You can add a profile picture and you can also write a short bio in your profile. There are even some custom fields where you can put any kind of informations like links to your website or blog or whatever you like, really. Please also consider specifing the pronouns you’d like to use for yourself. This is a nice way to help shielding transgender people against online harassment and discrimination.

Follow your fellows!

You might want to consider following the other folks on mograph.social, as they most probably are going to be motion designers like you.

Hash tags

You can search Mastodon by hash tags and then you can pin the resulting feed to a new column on the interface. This way you’ll be able to keep an eye on the feed and discover some more interesting people to follow, or join some conversations even on different servers.

Useful tools

Trunk is a community curated list of Mastodon accounts organised by topics. Following some people on one or more of the lists can be a good way to bootstrap your Home feed.

If you want to have a peek inside some other Mastodon servers and maybe find other people to follow you can use MastoVue.

Mobile apps

For Android devices I suggest Tusky and Fedilab. They work great with multiple accounts as well. Tusky is more minimal and snappy, Fedilab has a lot more features (that you may need or not). I’d recommend getting the apps from F-droid instead of the Play Store. In any case, the apps are both great and constantly developed so considering a donation to help their development is not a bad idea at all.

On iOS I’m currently using Toot! and Mercury , the first one is paid and the second free. Both has their pros and cons. There are a few more apps to try out on iOS that you can check here.

Sometimes I just prefer to browse Mastodon directly from Safari as well, to be fair. The mobile version of the website works great.

Regarding the official Mastodon apps on both Android and iOS - while definitely more good looking and polished from a UX/UI perspective than most of the other apps, the decision not to include all the different timelines (for the sake of simplicity towards new users I guess?) makes the official apps paradoxically the worst choice especially for newcomers, in my opinion. They’re actively developing them though, so hopefully they’ll change their minds and fix the issue soon.

Tips & Tricks

  • If you’re not keen of the default multicolumn interface of Mastodon you can switch to a more similar to Twitter single column view. Go to Preferences –> Appearance and then you can untick “Enable advanced web interface”.
  • Post interesting toots and people will follow you.
  • Interact with strangers.
  • Be curious.
  • Ask questions.
  • Try out new things.

Your faithful admin @mauro