Mastodon is getting text search (

Full text search has been merged in main branch, and will be in the next (and final?) 4.2.0 beta 🎉 It is opt-in, so it will take some time to be filled with people content as they enable their profile to be indexed, but this was one of the most wanted Mastodon features for some time. We plan to deploy it to and in the coming days to have a bit more feedback on it and see how it behaves in the wild.


Didn’t they have full text search already a long time ago via ElasticSearch?


Users seemed to be able to do full text search only in their own account's posts.

HeartyBeast avatar

People never really got used to the 'use hashtags if you want your post to be searchabl;e' thing, did they?

stopthatgirl7 avatar

They did not, no.

0x1C3B00DA avatar

hashtags are supposed to be an optimization for search, not the sole axis of searchability.


Most people seem to not want to be discoverable with the exception of artists and other people who want to make money, I doubt search will replace hashtags as the primary discovery method

HarkMahlberg avatar

Aren't searchability and discoverability two different things? I understood hashtags as a way to make your post discoverable, or more accurately, to comment on a topic that there's a consensus term for and so everyone can see your opinion. If I was looking for a specific opinion, some piece of news that I remembered a short sentence from, then I would search for the phrase I remember.

0x1C3B00DA avatar

You could make the argument that they're technically different things, but I think in practice they are the same. If you're looking for something specific, then yeah search is gonna be more effective than hashtags. But if you're just looking for something to read, you could search for "fediverse" or trawl the hashtag. Not everybody chooses to add hashtags to their posts so full text search is gonna find more posts than just a hashtag search (assuming full text search also returns matches on hashtag).

rasterweb avatar

I use hashtags on my posts to help other discover them, but also to group my posts by subject. I probably follow 30 different hashtags on Mastodon to help me find interesting posts.

0x1C3B00DA avatar

Note that they did it in the most mastodon way possible. Non-mastodon accounts won't appear in search until their software stops their own work and implements a masto-specific feature.


That's the only possible way to make it opt-in. People using other software deserve privacy too

0x1C3B00DA avatar

I still don't think search for public posts needs to be opt-in. But even ignoring that, my point was that mastodon merged this change without coordinating with other projects. They didn't check what the easiest way to signal an opt-in would be for other projects. They made the decision unilaterally and now other projects will be left out of masto search by default. And if their users want to be searchable from mastodon, they have to stop working on features for their own project and work on this.

My issue is just that mastodon never respects other projects enough to coordinate, makes decisions that affect other projects without input from them, implements features that further isolate mastodon users from the rest of the fediverse or makes it harder for them to interact.


That’s how you grow as a social network. See Facebook, Twitter, etc. They all are walled gardens interacting with noone else. The mastodon devs may have taken example from that.

0x1C3B00DA avatar

Right. That's how you grow a walled garden network. That's why I'm criticizing them. Mastodon is not a social network; it's software that connects to the network, which is the fediverse.

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