Alternate onboarding experiences?


I launched an instance recently and it got a decent number of signups, but not a single person followed more than two other users. I was wondering if there are any alternative onboarding experiences that have been made that are more aggressive in getting new users to find people to follow so there is fresh content and they don’t bounce.

The problem was so uniform across all new signups I feel I need to alter the flow before getting any more users, because they’ll just bounce similarly. I have to assume others have run into this with their own instances so I thought I’d check if anything has been built before starting with my own take.

Obviously if there’s nothing out there and I find the time to make an alternative onboarding flow on a fork I’ll make it available to other instances who are interested


Mastodon will currently have you follow your local instance admin, and it’s up to your local instance admin to welcome you and boost a lot of people so there’s always fresh content. If you have some active users who aren’t admins but are down to be a “public face” of your instance in this way, then you can add them to the autofollow_local_accounts site setting


Why dont mastodon add profile suggestion?


It’s something I’ve seen as it seems like it can be quite hard to find people to follow on a small instance and like I started on a bigger one and shifted over to my own smaller one. Also for me the sign ups are mostly people I know so its probably a bit different.

Stuff I’ve tried includes having a relay setup to help the federated timeline, boosting interesting content, engaging local users in conversation, tagging users I know into conversations they may be interested in, encouraging them to make accounts on other instances that may be more fitting for them, and letting people know about the distsn user search (User Search for GNU social, Mastodon, Pleroma, and Misskey) and mastodon tag explorer ( to help them find people and content.

It’s an uphill thing however, people go where they get the kind of social they want, and that often depends upon the network effect - and since mastodon is still growing and having multiple sliced identities is a feature of it I think it means people get hit with unexpected interaction patterns where its harder to find people and conversation at least for the moment.