Mastodon Quick Follow Prototype

TL;DR

This is a prototype google chrome extension that automatically fills in the "Enter your username@domain you want to act from" that pops up sometimes when you click the button to follow someone on Mastodon. Notes, warnings, and directions to install are in the repo which is here:

Mastodon Quick Follow

DETAILS

I've migrated my main social media usage to Mastodon. As much as I like it, there are some bumps.

One friction I keep hitting is following folks on different instances. I've seen two flows for it. The first one is a modal/dialog box that shows up directly on the page your on. The second is a pop-up window.

In both cases, you have to take some action beyond just clicking a button. I've built a prototype google chrome extension that makes the pop-up version smoother.

The standard process is that when you get the pop-up on a new instance you have to fill in your username and domain manually. The extension captures that text then fills it in automatically moving forward. When you click follow, it looks like this:

An animated GIF showing a Mastodon follow button being clicked then a pop-up window that has the username and domain field filled in automatically.

I've been using it for a few days now and haven't had any problems. That said, I still consider it a prototype. I don't have the spoons to publish it to the google store. If you'd like to use it, you'll need to install it manually. Notes, warnings, and install directions are in the repo which is here:

Mastodon Quick Follow

The code is open source. If you're a developer and want to publish a full version, please, have at it.

NOTES

  • Installing the extension manually requires turning on "Developer Mode". There are some security implications to that beyond what I have the expertise to speak about but basically it lets extensions have ever more power over your computer than they would otherwise

  • I've got the start of a solution for the flow that uses the modal/dialog. I can fill in the search field but haven't been able to figure out how to send the request to get the account back so you can click on it. There's a bunch of commented out code at the bottom of the extension where I was working on that. If you know how to make that happen, please let me know

  • In the GIF for this post I added a little delay to show the username being filled in. It's pretty real time in regular usage