Request: Follow hashtags


It would be cool if we could follow a hashtag just like we follow an account, making new posts with this hashtag show up in our Home tab.
A color code to distinguish hashtag posts from account posts would be a good addition to it in order to not be confused when we see a post from someone we don’t follow.


This is quite complicated in the federated environment. Your instance would need to subscribe to a hashtag by sending some kind of subscription request to all known instances. Maybe those requests should travel the federated network. Maintenance of those subscription lists needs to be done on every instance.

This is not impossible but this is similar to the multicast subscription problem on the Internet.


But… You can already search for a hashtag and pin the resulting panel. This gives a live feed of this hashtag across the federation. In fact my proposal would only spare a panel (per hashtag) by putting the toots in Home instead of separate panels.


Hashtag search gives an overview of what your instance have already seen, kind of like “hashtags among people I or others here follow”. The challenge is to bring the hashtags from people you have not known before.


I see. I guess the same goes for account search. That’s not so great, imo. Any chance the search engine could be worked on to search through the entire federation?


Maybe I am exaggerating.

Federation in the current implementation does not mean “everyone gets everything”, or more specifically, “every instance gets everything”. Every instance has a different view on the federated network, depending on the relationships of its users. If we continue to understand it like this, your proposal to follow hashtags as they are is pretty reasonable - just get toots with a hashtag provided your instance is getting them anyway.


Hashtag following should still be useful on large instances in its current state and relays should help make it more useful for small instances.


in case you missed it, here is a related pull-request: