Mastodon rolls out built-in bylines for journalists in the fediverse

If you’re on Mastodon, you might notice new author bylines appearing alongside articles — including those from The Verge. Click on the byline, and you’ll jump directly to the author’s fediverse account, allowing you to track their work wherever it’s posted.

For now, you’ll only see this feature on and other instances that use a recent Mastodon nightly release. You can see how author bylines appear beneath articles in this post, which links you to Mastodon CEO Eugen Rochko’s profile.

The byline doesn’t have to link to an author’s Mastodon account. It can also lead to a person’s profile on Threads, Flipboard, WordPress with ActivityPub, PeerTube, and others. To make it work, Mastodon says it created a new OpenGraph tag, which dictates how webpages are previewed on sites like Mastodon, but also noted publishers will need to reach out to Mastodon directly to get their authors added.

In addition to The Verge, stories from MacRumors and MacStories will also contain clickable bylines. Mastodon is working to open up the feature to more outlets, too, but it currently requires “manual review” to prevent “malicious sites framing users as their authors.” However, Mastodon plans on launching “a self-serve system” to manage the sites authors can appear from in the future.

Even though it’s not widely rolled out just yet, it does seem like a neat way to quickly find out who wrote an article and check out their other work across multiple platforms.

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