On Mastodon, hashtags play a vital role in content discovery. Without them, a new account, without any following, will effectively just shout into the void. Fedimeister offers some advanced features for finding good hashtags that are not available in the webclient.
Statistics are presented as a table, showing the usage of individual tags over the course of the last week. By default, the first column represents today. Note, that server statistics are based on midnight UTC. Depending on what time zone you are in, “today” may not be tabulated yet and will simply be shown as a dash.
The bottom toolbar allows you to toggle the view between:
As a rule of thumb, a tag with ratio greater than one signals a hot topic on which individuals post several times a day. If the absolute numbers of users is high as well, it means the hashtag has an audience and a lively discussion.
Numbers only tell half the story. A high post frequency of a tag says nothing about the mood behind it and with controversial topics, it may swing either way. The only way to tell is by looking at the actual timeline, which can be done by first selecting the hashtag in question, then clicking the timeline icon in the toolbar.
Lists hashtags that were typed into the composer window. Hashtags are automatically looked up when pressing space or enter after typing a word, starting with a hashmark. The list will never shrink. Not even, when hashmark is deleted again from the post. This is the intended behavior to allow for comparing the effectiveness of synonym terms.
Simply lists hashtags that are currently trending on the instance, the account is connected to. Note that trends are not entirely organic, since server admins can exclude tags, they deem not suitable for their instance.
Trends are often puns on the current day of the week, such as #caturday or #followfriday, on which users share topical pictures or play hashtag games. Joining the bandwagon can be a viable way to get more exposure.
Lists the hashtags, the account is subscribed to. While this is not actually a useful feature for hashtag research, it is one that is missing from the web client and included here for house keeping purposes.
The related list allows for researching hashtags that are used together in the same context, i.e. posts. This powerful tool has several different use cases:
Note that unlike the other hashtag statistics, this view provides a filter for the sum column. By default, only hashtags are shown, that were used at least 10 times during the previous week.