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 I think "post" would be better. "Publish" is a little heavy for a tiny 500-character piece of text, it sounds more like you're putting out a book or an academic paper or something.

Sign in to participate in the conversation is a community-supported instance designed for fans, fandom, and fandom content creators.