Developing Mastodon, I strive to use terminology that is familiar to as many people as possible so as to not put up unnecessary barriers in understanding. For this reason I am happy that we went away from calling posts "toots". It has always been a point of friction for people. Not that I dislike branding, quite the opposite, but in my experience receiving feedback over half a decade, it had a negative effect on the platform for little benefit.

Probably not a lot of people know this now, but Mastodon's web app started out with "Publish". In 2016 a famous YouTuber jokingly offered to support Mastodon's Patreon forever if I changed the button to say "Toot" instead. Needless to say, this was a really early, and not very informed decision. The first glimpse of attention and financial support. As a non-native speaker I had no idea there was another meaning.

I like that I was able to go back to "Publish" in the official iOS and Android apps. It may be less whimsical, and less branded, but after using the platform for such a long time, I'm perfectly happy with a button that just describes what it will do without trying to be cute (not that I dislike cute, I'd never part with our elephant illustrations). I have seen enough "Dr. Doom toots as he pleases" quotes in the first two years of Mastodon to last me a lifetime.


@Gargron That's a funny story actually :blobcatgiggle:

And ofc this was a logical decision back in the day! :toot: Personally I really don't mind how the button is being called as long as it makes sense, and in this case it totally does!

I have had nothing but positive replies from people online and AFK about it :blobcatgiggle: It uh.. takes the edge off or something :mastolol2:

This is one thing I really liked when I used friendica for the first time, their terminology is very clear. They have "like" and "dislike" buttons, where mastodon has a "favorite" button that acts as a like button. And they use the term "reshare" instead of "boost", it makes so much sense.

I'm glad you changed the name from toot to publish. Also a gentle reminder that #fediverse is a lot bigger than just mastodon, so every post you see on your timeline is not actually a "toot" 😀

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