Why is the boost button so underused? German

I mean that's a cool feature Reddit didn't have. There are so many tech savvy people here yet I feel the boost button is mostly ignored even though it can be so much more powerful in how it changes the exposure of a link/comment.
If I can't see the actual amount of boosts due to some fuckery with being on kbin instead Lemmy or whatever lmk.

Edit because I immediately got plenty of confused comments. I enter the lemmyverse through kbin and this federation offers to not just upvote but boost a comment as well. For me this means I can give a comment more exposure.
But I'm really not good with computers plz to halp. There's a very good chance that I entirely misunderstood what I'm clicking on all the time.

Edit 2: I just wanted to let everyone know that this post was boosted eight times 48 minutes after posting which is a lot. Kbin represent!

GeekFTW avatar

Boost, to my understanding, is only a thing on Kbin. Ernest coded Kbin to have better connectivity with Mastodon (Boost was originally our analogue for a retweet) then Lemmy does, and that's one of the options he made (the Microblog section being another. The non-Kbin instances (so all of lemmy, and thus most of the people who can read this thread) just don't have a Boost button.

That being said Boost has changed a bit in terms of how it works since it was created, and it's gonna keep being changed (literally they have said they are working on it lol). For me I basically Boost anything I upvote as a force of habit at this point.

Edit: And to those even from Kbin who don't know since I see some of you in the comments - It's currently like a super upvote. Boost something and it'll make the comment rise higher in the thread, like higher upvoted comments on a reddit thread would go up to the top. (Less if it's changed since the time I learned that from some other fediverse schmuck lmao).


Thanks for the insight. So if I boost something it's only relevant for kbin-users? I actually like it a lot. I can upvote something but still make a distinction to what I consider a quality contribution or something that requires more exposure.

GeekFTW avatar

I have not tested it with accounts from other instances or platforms but:

Boost - Do so on a Microblog page on a Kbin magazine - Kbin users can see it higher in the Hot/Active, as well as Mastodon users seeing something retweeted via that hashtag (kbin.social/m/gaming's microblog would be visible to them via ).

Boost - On a Microblog page on a Lemmy Instance - Pretty sure only Kbin can see it lol. Lemmy can't see the microblog stuff I don't think, and Mastodon can't see Microblog content there either irc.

Boost - Do so on a Thread on Kbin - Influence the comment order in the same means as Reddit upvotes. I.E. If I boost a particular (parent) comment, and no other comment has a boost, that comment shoots to the top as if on Reddit I upvoted a comment and every other (parent) comment on the thread had 0 or negative points.


Again I may be wrong.

Edit: If someone from Lemmy can confirm: Is the parent comment below mine on this thread by WalnutWalrus? If so, yes kbin boosts in a thread influence the hot/active comment ordering for lemmy users when they view a thread too (I boosted it to test).


That's very insightful, thank you. I hope it becomes standard practice all over the lemmyverse. I think it can optimise what content you see first.


When I sort by hot on Lemmy and kbin, I get a different order on each site. Sometimes it’s similar, but it can vary quite a bit. It doesn’t seem like boosts affect the comment order on Lemmy.

GeekFTW avatar

That's what I figured, which makes sense.


Maybe You can help me Out; what's the difference between a thread, a post and a microblog?

GeekFTW avatar

Kbin has two parts (unlike lemmy). The Reddit half, and the Twitter half. Reddit half is Threads.

Thread = A normal Reddit post. Forum style, you make a thread, people comment on it (I.E. what we're doing right now)

Comment = A comment on a thread.

The other half is the Twitter half, the Microblog.

Post = A tweet.

Replies = Comments on a tweet.

Things you post on the threads will federate across kbin and lemmy. Things you post on the microblog is federated across kbin, and mastodon via the hashtag of the magazine (i.e. kbin.social/m/gaming's microblog corelates to on mastodon, /m/doctorwho to , etc). We, via kbin, will see microblogs on lemmy communities as well but I'm not sure if anyone see's those but kbin users lol.


Just from quickly poking around, I think Boost only alters the comment order for kbin instances. Lemmy only seems affected by upvotes & downvotes. Lemmy also seems to give each post or comment an automatic upvote (or maybe that is just lemmy.world, idk), whereas kbin does not do this. I am also not sure if the automatic upvote transfers between kbin and Lemmy. This all being said, I could also just be completely wrong and misinterpreting things lol.

As a side-note, I can only seem to get my posts and comments to show if I boost my own post... I am not sure if that is just a kbin thing or something unique to my particular instance.

GeekFTW avatar

As a side-note, I can only seem to get my posts and comments to show if I boost my own post... I am not sure if that is just a kbin thing or something unique to my particular instance.

I'm going to assume the latter. I've made posts and comments (just here on kbin.social mind you) without upvoting and boosting, come back an hour later and others have seen it/commented/upvoted/etc so what you're describing definitely does not seem normal.

sab avatar

One thing I try to keep in mind when boosting content is that if (hypothetically) someone is following me from a microblogging platform, what they will get from me in their feed is a) my original posts and b) whatever content I boost. So it has the potential of affecting visibility of content beyond the original threads or community it belongs to. This is especially true if you make use of the microblogging function in kbin to interact with the broader Fediverse, in which case people might follow you from there.

In consequence, I try to boost content that I think has a general interest beyond the specific thread it is located in, and that I think calls for extra attention. If I merely agree with something or find it valuable in context I stick to just upvoting.

There is of course no problem with following a different philosophy - there's no real reason to worry about whether your profile lends itself to being followed by Mastodon users. But it's something to be aware of when figuring out how to use the function. :)


I'm not a person with a qualified opinion by any means but that sounds like it can be abused to streamline shady stuff like astroturfing or brigading.

sab avatar

It's rather the opposite, as it is the alternative to an algorithm choosing which content will be visible. Algorithms are easily abused - a curated list of real people you follow and trust to share interesting content less so.

On kbin it's a little different thhough, as content widely boosted across the fediverse is given improved visibility by default. In this system we rely more on servers full of bad actors being defederated.

Hank, (edited )

Oh I hope it won't cause a ruckus on kbin. But I bet you can easily switch it off it it gets blatantly abused.

Eavolution avatar

I use it differently to upvoting.

I'll upvote something that's funny, relevant, or just what I want to be seeing. It's hard to put into words.

I'll boost something important, or that I think other people should see, such as that an important person has died, or a useful comment.


It is a Kbin only thing but since I signed up to Mastodon recently it makes a lot more sense.

Because Kbin is tied to Mastodon if you use your Kbin account to also post to Mastodon by clicking 'Boost'

In Twitter terms, you're retweeting that comment or post straight to your Mastodon feed for your followers to see.

I set up a separate Mastodon account because I want to use them as different networks at this point, but I can see the appeal of having that ability to crosspost between platforms

EDIT And as the other person said, within Kbin if something is getting Boosted (ie retweeted) it will pick up on that and the comment or post will be pushed further up the list if you're viewing things by Hot or Top I think. But only on Kbin so most people here won't know


Interesting. I do not have a mastodon account, but I wonder if this is not why boosting a comment or post might accelerate federation? I have noticed that (some) of my own comments or posts do not show on other instances unless I boost them myself, which not something I prefer doing as upvoting/boosting my own post seems kinda weird...


what’s the boost button


I edited my post to explain my experience with the UI I have.


I don’t like Boost. I experimented for a few days on Mastodon and was seeing random comments in the middle of a conversation in my feed because some boost happy users.

If it has to exist, it better have some tight guardrails.


TIL boost exists.

Now i have a question - why have two different systems of showing that you like the content? Why do we need boost AND upvote?


For me it's about the difference between what I like and what I think people should see. If I like it I upvote it. If I think more people should see it I boost it.


but if you like it, why shouldn’t people see it? and if you want people to see it, why wouldn’t you like it?


There are quite a lot of things that I don't like but think more people should see. The stupidity going on in American politics right now is a big one. I don't like what is happening, but more people should be aware.

Most of the time if I do like it I upvote and boost. It was more of how my brain differentiates between the two


Since twitter doesn’t exist, they should just rename boost to retweet.

One of the kbin mobile apps “Artemis” has the option to link the upvote to boost.


It doesn’t exist here on Lemmy.

@The_Picard_Maneuver@lemmy.world avatar

Kbin is like a go-between for Mastodon and Lemmy.

“Boost” is Mastodon’s version of “retweet”, but Lemmy doesn’t have anything like that.


The only time I really paid attention to it was when upvotes didn't work to actually upvote people.

I don't really see the point of boost.

I guess some people are saying it's like retweets, but since I never really retweeted either....

Eavolution avatar

The way I use it is to help an important/helpful post/comment reach the top of the frontpage/comment thread as I think other people should see it.


Doesn't upvote already do that though?

Eavolution avatar

I'm almost certain I read that at least for kbin, upvotes don't mean much, but boosts are what determine comment order and make posts go up ranks.


huh, well that's interesting to know.


I’ve always set my comment sorting views to “Top” anyway, i.e. most upvotes at top. Not quite sure why this needs to be complicated like this. If something needs visibility and the community wants to indicate that, they upvote it.


Most of us here don’t us kbin and therefore don’t even see the boost button.

I see and use it on Firefish.social though.

@the_robomafia@lemmy.world avatar

I haven’t seen a boost button in any of the apps that I’ve tried


I edited my post to explain my experience with the UI I have.

@the_robomafia@lemmy.world avatar

Also what does the boost button do?

MonsieurHedge avatar

Nobody knows what the damn boost button actually does. Upvote's nice and simple.

@Kotking@mastodon.social avatar

@MonsieurHedge @Hank Can't say what boost does for Lemmy, For kbin unless we get home timeline only if you look at user profile it means also nothing, for Mastodon by boosting I show everyone who follow me your post, for Misskey I not only show your post by boosting but also upvote's are emoji and I can make short answer to you post without commenting. I won't comment on + and - of the platforms, just want to point out it's not as simple as upvote especially if you get Fediverse followers.


It’s funny but I’ve observed that myself. A lot of my posts are simply favorited which doesn’t mean a whole lot because all it is doing is telling the author of the post that you simply like it. By boosting the post, you’re telling the author that not only do you like it, but the post contains useful information, a great philosophy, or even material you could somehow relate to.


The Lemmy UI that I’m looking at does not have a “boost button”.

@iquanyin@lemmy.world avatar

same here


I edited my post to explain my experience with the UI I have.


Boost button?


I edited my post to explain my experience with the UI I have.

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