Subscribe to remote local timelines

Before i begin my thoughts:
This might be intentionally not implemented, so just stop me if this is/was never supposed to be.

The ability to see an entire remote instance’s “local timeline” by configuring an instance to subscribe to another instance.

This thought came out of interest in other instance’s communities that you only see a glimpse of due to federation only pulling in posts from people you interact with.
Now, there might be lots of more similar minded people on a remote instance that you don’t ever get to see.
I sometimes visit other instance’s websites only to find out there’s a good handful of people that are posting interesting stuff, that isn’t being pulled by my server due to the restriction above.
I might not want to request follows right away due to no prior interaction but connecting communities like explained below might help finding people to interact with even when you are not signed up to a certain instance.

Me (admin of x.y.z) wants to connect my instance to someone else’s instance (a.b.c)
If both admins agree, I (x.y.z) would be able to configure to fetch a.b.c’s local timeline and the admin of a.b.c would need to configure to allow x.y.z to fetch it.
So this would need mutual consent to allow an instance to fetch/poll a remote instance’s local timeline.
Once configured the posts from a.b.c’s local timeline would also show up in x.y.z’s local timeline.

Of course this would need transparency, if the admin so decides, so users can know what other instances have access to the posts, etc etc.

Let me know if this is outright not intended as local timelines are kind of the point of… local timelines…
Would love to get some input from other users/admins on whether this could help bring communities/instances together.


sounds like you’re describing a relay

what a relay does is post all public content from your instance to all connected relays

admittedly this feature is exceptionally poorly documented and there’s no text anywhere describing what it does

you can follow any other (pler|akk)oma instance via the relay url https://fedidomain.example/relay , and you’ll get any public posts made from the instance

there are non-(pler|akk)oma relays as well but we have it built in

i probably should have linked to the relay docs → Managing relays - Akkoma Documentation

Yes, this at least goes in the right direction, I’ll check out relays just after this.

You said, relays publish all public posts on a remote instance?
My intention was to be able to publish/subscribe to “unlisted” posts of a remote instance, as long as the admins of the two instances engaging in my described behaviour agree on it.
Does that sound unintentional? Or is it that we never thought about this kind of connection between instances?

oh, when i say “public” i mean “addressed to the public”, which unlisted posts are!

so yes unlisted stuff will indeed get federated via relays - since “unlisted” on the backend refers to “public but only in the cc field”


Hmm interesting!
The tooltip does not suggest this, oddly enough…

I’ll keep an eye out if i can find new posts from the instances I’d usually not see, thanks!
If it works as you describe, I’ll close this post in a few days.

< If i knew this already existed i wouldnt have taken up a slot in the feature requests lol

ah right so there’s actually some ambiguity in communication between how mastoAPI handles “scopes” and how they’re mapped to to and cc in the resultant activitypub message

so both public and unlisted are “public” so to say - they can both be fetched by unauthenticated users etc etc, they both get addressed to the AP “public” collection

what mastoAPI (and hence pleroma-fe) calls “unlisted” is actually “it’s ‘public’ but we won’t show it on timelines” - the difference being that you’ll see a public status on your home timeline, but you’ll have to either follow the user or view their profile to get unlisted on there - the statuses will still be there on your instance, they’ll have federated, they’re just not returned as part of the timeline call

Ok that’s reasonable.
So unlisted posts are out of the scope of my intention regardless.

But is there any way to have instance a.b.c’s public posts show up in the “public timeline” (pleroma-fe) (or a different/new timeline) of instance x.y.z?
Admins could select an opiniated set of instances that you want your users to discover/interact with in immediate vicinity?
Edit: Sort of like fediring

That is not what relays achieve, if i understand correctly.

oh, actually yes the api can already handle this


relays get the federation to work, but if you want frontend binding it’ll use this parameter - not sure how much work it’d be to make the frontend allow it

So you’d need a binding to join the instance’s public timeline and those remote timelines assorted by the admins together and display as an item in FE, correct?

could do that, or seperate into different timelines per remote instance

depends how often people even use the public timeline honestly, and if people would ever use this, idk

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idk how often people use it that have already been on fedi for some time
but it could definitly help new people get off the ground to instantly have a place to look around and not get lost in “the known network” ^^

ok then, here’s a proposal for you


wherein local bubble is an admin-configured set of domains, which when viewed, displays essentially twkn filtered to those domains

so no inter-instance configuration needed, just a FE display option

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essentially that, yeah!

relays might be useful in tandem.
so, adding an instance to “the list” would automatically subscribe to the instance’s relay.

raised as