Mastodon has Direct Messages (DMs), there are two ways to make them happen:

-Create a normal message, set its privacy to "Direct" and then @ mention whomever you want to receive the message. If you mention more than one person it becomes a group chat. This works on all apps and versions of Mastodon.


-If you're logged in through the website, or if you're using a third party app, you can click on the "..." menu on a post or a person's profile and select Direct Message. This then automatically creates a direct message just like the one in the previous method. You can also look at your previous DMs by clicking on the envelope or the "Direct Message" link in the menu.

The official apps don't currently have any specific DM features, but you can use the first method in them and it works fine.

The end result of both methods is exactly the same.

p.s. To set a post's privacy on Mastodon click on the globe (🌎 or 🌐 ) icon when you're writing the message. The DM privacy setting is called either "Direct" or "Only people I mention".

@feditips Question. Like another place, can you only DM those who follow you?

@littlegravitas @feditips yup, there's a icon showing the privacy the toot will have (next to the attachment icon for me). There's also a setting visibke only for your followers

@9Lukas5 @littlegravitas

Yup, your options in the globe menu are everyone, just your followers, or just people you mention within the post.

@feditips important to note that DMs are not private to server admins as all messages are stored in plain text. only DM if you trust your instance owners! #tech #infosec

@slyduda @feditips
This is important to note! It would be nice if there could be security for direct messages, though that might just be a technical limitation of the mastodon protocol.

@Graycot @feditips it shouldnt be a technical limitation but it might be out of scope for the platform. i read some of the issue discussions on github and they kinda hit dead ends because of a lack of interest. with enough people pushing for this, we could see changes though :)

@slyduda @Graycot

They have put in code for e2ee (based on Matrix) but it hasn't been implemented yet in the apps or website.

@Bluewall @feditips yeah, i presume a lot of newbies who are joining smaller servers with poor instance governance are not aware of this. double edged sword of this platform :C

@feditips @MNUAF A neat trick I don't think many know, is that DMs on Mastodon can also be used as private footnotes for one's own toots.

If for example someone exclusively toots in English externally, but based on sources in other languages, one can write the toot as normal, citing source names as normal, then...
here comes the trick, reply to your own toot to yourself, but set that toot as DM privacy level and put any notes and source URLs in that one.
Only you will be able to see it, as it becomes a DM from yourself to yourself, but it is forever attached to the public toot, so if anyone asks for clarifications or similar, you'll always have your notes handy for the context!
Twitter can't do that.


If you go to the official iPhone and Android apps are at the top, with all the third party unofficial apps below them.

The official app is just called "Mastodon" or "Mastodon for iPhone/iPad"

@feditips Thank you. I have Tusky and Mastodon. Will try them both to see which one suits me the best.

@Puurava @feditips I wouldn't recommend it as it doesn't have separate Local and Federated timelines, according to many complaints I've seen.

I suggest Tootle for iOS, though I've heard Metatext is great as well.
For android, nothing fo far beats Tusky.

@saturn @feditips @Puurava I installed Tusky but uninstalled when the federated timeline never showed anything no matter how long I waited - on the browser my federated timeline is rammed already 🤷‍♀️

@exlabourmember @saturn @Puurava is under extreme strain right now due to the large number of new members, and there have been similar problems on other instances.

It might be worth trying again a bit later?

@exlabourmember @saturn @feditips @Puurava it's not about tusky, it's instances that is overload by new user. The federated timeline is sometimes not shown.

You can see my post to see available instances.

@rohmatsb @exlabourmember @saturn @feditips Thank you. I actually already joined before I knew my twitter bubble started joining I know I can follow them from there, but that's not really as smooth as being on the same server.

@rohmatsb @exlabourmember @saturn @feditips That didn't make much sense. I meant where I mentioned I already joined a server before joining

@Puurava @exlabourmember @saturn @feditips and owned by the same people. Which is the lead of the the mastodon projects @Gargron

@feditips Thanks. On 'another site', you can only DM those who follow you. Does the same apply here, or can you DM anyone? (New here!)

@littlegravitas @feditips I think that you can DM just about anybody.

If you click on the ... on the bottom right of a Toot you will see "Direct Message @..." as an option.

Not tried it yet.

@spyro @littlegravitas

You can DM anyone who hasn't blocked you, or blocked your instance/server.


Another question, if I may make so bold.

On another site, I am used to seeing items I RT turn up RT'd in my 'user' column.

Where, if anywhere, do the toots I boost show up, here? (Just so I can see what I have boosted.) Or doesn't it work like that?

Sorry for the newbie questions?


Boosts show up in your own timeline, and the timelines of anyone who follows you.

It also has an effect on which posts are featured in the "Explore" or 🔎 tabs that are visible from the website and certain apps.

If several people boost the same thing within a short space of time, it will only be shown once thanks to the timeline grouping feature.

(If you want to see the same post boosted multiple times, you can turn off timeline grouping at Preferences > Other > Group Boosts In Timelines, untick and click save changes. But I don't recommend this, as the grouping feature makes timelines much easier to browse!)

@feditips @littlegravitas You can try to DM me. Post here when you do. I'll try to reply if I get it.

I think I allowed DMs from anyone.

(I'm using friendica for my instance)

@feditips thanks, was a point we just discussed. Very helpful. 👍

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