Last updated: July 3, 2023
- Follow us on Mastodon while you are here!
The recent change in Twitter ownership prompted another mass exodus of users to Mastodon, the world’s largest federated social network. Like Twitter, Mastodon is a microblogging platform. Unlike Twitter, Mastodon is open-source and decentralized across thousands of independently managed server instances known collectively as the Fediverse. New Mastodon users may sign up on any server instance in the Fediverse. Choose from a list of Mastodon server instances categorized by region or topic. Mastodon includes many of the same features that you find on Twitter, including the option to schedule a Mastodon post.
A very cool aspect of Mastodon’s Fediverse is that users may follow and interact with all public Mastodon users and posts (also known as toots) regardless of their server instance. From the dashboard, users view a timeline of toots from users they follow, and either a federated timeline (the most recent public posts from people on all Fediverse servers of the decentralized network) or a local timeline (the most recent public posts from people whose accounts are hosted by only the server instance where you sign up). Again, Mastodon users have the option to interact with all public users and posts regardless of the server instance where they sign up.
On Twitter, the option to schedule tweets exists in the app’s tweet window itself, in Twitter’s TweetDeck application, or in third-party apps like Buffer and Hootsuite. Scheduling Mastodon posts is a little different. It requires a few simple set-up steps that take a couple of minutes but work like a charm. Let me show you how to schedule a Mastodon post to improve your workflow.
Schedule a Mastodon Post
Step 1. Create an Access Token
A. Click the Preferences (Settings) cog in your dashboard.
B. Click Development in the left navigation.
C. In the Your applications page, click the New application button.
D. In the New application page, input a name of your choice (such as Schedule Toots) into the Application name field. Next, in the Application website field, input the web address of the Mastodon server instance where you signed up (in our case, the Application website is https://mastodon.social. Yours may be different.). Then, scroll down to the base of the page, and click the Submit button.
E. You will see Application successfully created. Congratulations, you did it! Click the Application link (in this example, it is Schedule Toots).
F. Finally, in the Your access token field, copy the token string. You will need this access token in Step 2. As the page states, be very careful with this data. Never share it with anyone!
Step 2. Visit the Mastodon Scheduler Page
Visit the Mastodon scheduler webpage. In the App login section, input the Instance URL (in our case, the URL is https://mastodon.social. Yours may be different.), and the Access token you copied in Step 1 above. Then click the Sign in button. You may only need to do this one time if your browser retains the Instance URL and Access Token you input (i.e. retained via cookie or saved form data depending on your browser settings).
Step 3. Schedule Mastodon Posts
To schedule a toot, input the content of your post into the Content field. Please note that the maximum number of characters is still 500 even though it is not stated in the scheduler. Next, choose a date and time to send your scheduled toot from the Date fields. The time and you input here should be your local time and date. Click the calendar icon and the clock icon within the Date fields to select a date and time. Please note that no method currently exists to attach media when scheduling a post via the Mastodon scheduler. Finally, click the Toot later button to schedule your toot. Scheduled toots display under Your scheduled statuses.
In the same fashion as TweetDeck and other third-party apps, you DO NOT need to stay signed in or keep the scheduler web page open in order for scheduled posts to publish. Set it and forget it.
That’s it! I am not aware of any limitations in the number of scheduled toots. I will update this article with any additional information I learn.
Henry Irvine, Contributing Technology Writer, translates more than a decade of internet technology experience in product and customer relationship management into practical help and how-to content. Look for him on Bay Area trails, music venues, or sausage shacks when he’s not writing. Don’t call him Hank if you see him. Seriously. Hank on Twitter