Thoughts on recent “killer features” from the bird migration

I knew exactly what I was getting into when i decided to go with Akkoma and I have no regrets. I just say that so I don’t sound too critical with this post. I love Akkoma and am a satisfied user.

Some features that seem to be drawing a lot of very targeted attention that make for very good discussion I’ve seen recently as a result of the large influx:

  1. Following hashtags. This feature seems to really be a huge feature that may end up being a “killer feature” for many users new and old of the Fediverse. The ability to follow a hashtag and allow for much more focused and “community” membership that can extend easily across instances is hard to overstate in how powerful it can be in promoting and building connections, especially for those being marginalized.

  2. Ability to block DMs per user. This feature can be enabled instance-wide, but can cause disconnection for those trying to build, protect, and maintain safe communities for themselves and those they trust. Being able to block DMs with some granularity by an individual user/account can better give tools to those who are often targeted by negative forces. Basically “I want to turn off people being able to DM me.” where the user can configure it. (I imagine something could be done using the subfilter MRF but I have NO idea how this would work)

  3. Subset of followers-only post. This can be accomplished with adding everyone to the CC or mentioning them all in the post, but having a way to potentially streamline this from a user’s perspective. Maybe by leveraging an “dummy” account that a user creates which then is the only mention in the post, but sends out the post using some kind of BCC mechanism to the followers/accounts the poster choose? I got inspiration for this from Tw****r Circle and the site. I know a lot of bird site users use this a lot to manage friends. I know it seems to be very very popular in Japan.

  4. Browser integration. Create a plug-in for browsers that scans a Fediverse page and gives the option to follow a user without having to copy and paste the user’s account information into your own instance’s search box to be able to follow them. If Akkoma did this, I can guarantee you that Masotodon and every other site will implement it as well. It would dramatically reduce user frustration and friction while allowing for people to explore the public timelines of other instances and allow them to have a more “familiar” experience by hiding the federated hoops that they have to do to follow, comment, favorite, etc.

I apologize. #4 May already exist but I’m on mobile. Will check out when I get back to my desktop.

The most promising was this one, but I don’t think it’s working at the moment. Re: #4. GitHub - rugk/mastodon-simplified-federation: Simplifies following and interacting with remote users on other Mastodon instances.

FWIW, I prefer this bookmarklet (but wish it was an extension that auto-worked): Mastodon Follow Bookmarklet

Re #4 I think that a new URL scheme should be seriously considered. It wouldn’t require a bookmarklet or an extension installation, because it uses existing browser behavior navigator.registerProtocolHandler()

For example, a user profile URL could be linked with the address web+ap://

Someone trying to follow that account would not need to open it at Bob’s at all. If Akkoma FE had registered itself as a handler app for the web+ap:// protocol, it would open on Alice’s server first.

No page scanning required, because the URL conveys the intent of an ActivityPub actor identifier. Alice would then be able to click Follow on her own page.

This has already been discussed in other fedi projects: Mastodon issue, Misskey issue

If Akkoma leads the way on a standard for this then maybe we could get other projects to follow. The ‘Remote follow’ flow is already an improvement over Mastodon’s copy-paste flow, but there’s really no need to go to Bob’s domain at all.

This is in line with other projects. There’s a scheme for matrix:, xmpp:, irc:, sms:, etc.