Mastodon is a decentralized network of many separate servers (instances) that can communicate with each other. This allows you to follow the posts of people from other servers from the instance you have an account on.
But because there isn’t just one Mastodon, as there is with Twitter, it’s a bit more complicated with what posts you’ll see in your timely. New views such as the Local and Federated Timeline are then mixed into this.
Suppose that somewhere on Mastodon there is a user @Kuře who sends a public toot. When you watch Chicken, you’ll see this toot in your Home Timelinei.e. right on the first page.
When you’re not following @Kuře but belong to the same instance you’re using, the toot will appear in the Local timeline. You can find a link to it in the right part of the website, or at the address /public/local, it is different in applications. In the Local Timeline, the posts of all users of your instance are displayed chronologically.
Tip: If you often watch the Local Timeline, and someone in it annoys you a lot, you can mute it. Click on the three dots and select Hide. However, you will hide the account in the entire instance, it will not reach you even during boosting.
When @Kuře is not in your instance, but someone else is following him from your instance, Kuře’s posts will be shown in the Federated timeline. The link is in the same place, or at /public. In this report, chronologically, all the posts that your instance will know about in some way.
Boosted toots from other instances or foreign posts whose URL someone searched for on your instance will also get into the Federated Timeline.
And we will draw
What we have described in words so far can be seen in the following picture:
A few more exceptions and clarifications:
You won’t find any answers in the Local or Federated timelines. There are only primary toots.
If you limit the visibility of a toot and do not make it Public, only the selected group will see it. It won’t make it to public timelines.
There is still an Explore timeline on Mastodon. It contains posts that are currently of greater interest in the federated network.
When preparing, we were inspired by a picture Mastodon timelines from Wikipedia.