Explore Hashtags Across Mastodon Instances With MastoWindow

Facebook Facebooks, TikTok TikToks, and Twitter does whatever it’s doing. The shakeup in the Silicon Valley social media world has plenty of people looking for alternatives, including the decentralized platform Mastodon.

But if you’re used to a centralized social media environment, you might find Mastodon daunting. Which server should you get an account on? Who should you follow? What are people talking about?

I made MastoWindow for people like you (or more specifically for my husband, who is a people like you.) MastoWindow uses the Instances.social API to generate a list of Mastodon instances which use the language you specify. Once you’ve got a list, enter a hashtag you want to explore and click the Review your hashtag on this instance button. You’ll get a list of the most recent posts on that instance containing your hashtag, along with information on the date and the other hashtags that were used in the post.

You can change the instance via the dropdown menu and click the button again to see what the hashtags look like in another instance, but you can’t change the hashtag. When you’re ready to explore a new hashtag, just click the Review New Hashtag button and everything will reset.

Couple of things to note

For general hashtags like science or OpenAccess you might find that the largest instances have much of the same content. Try less-common hashtags or smaller/focused instances (ones that are for people in a certain area, for example, or for a certain hobby.)

Often multiple languages are used within instances, so you might see content in the recent post list that isn’t in the language you specified.

Generally-speaking the first link in a displayed post is a permalink, but sometimes that’s not the case because wild post formatting.

Get An Instance List

Specify the primary language for the instances you want to review. Use two-letter language codes (en for English, fr for French, etc.)

In my testing I found most languages. If you’re getting errors or no results, try another language and/or make sure you’re using language codes and not country codes (the country code for Japan is JP, but the language code for Japanese is JA.)

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