Does my instance only get copies of statuses on other instances if at least one person on here follows them?

I run into situations where I find friends on other instances and most of their posts are missing. I'm guessing it's because we're all new to Mastodon and aren't being followed by people on every instance.

Is it then not possible to reply to an older post of theirs from this account?

@acjay I believe that to reply to an older post than your instance has, you'll need to do the reply on the original poster's instance. Nb: I haven't tested this myself yet.

@ojensen That wouldn't work, though, because I wouldn't have an identity when accessing their instance directly.

But someone else gave me a solution:

@acjay if you go visit their profile from their instance (it's a pain sometimes but you can usually click their profile picture to go there), then you can find that toot. Then you can copy the link to that toot and paste it into qoto's search bar. That'll pull up the toot via qoto, and you can respond then.

That is painful, right? But it does get better once you follow them for a little while.

@finity Yes, this worked!

It would be cool to have a browser extension to make this easier.

@acjay I've thought it would be great to have a way for other instances to know what your home instance is... So that if you're browsing on another when when you hit "follow" or "reply" it can automatically use your home instance URL. A browser extension might be necessary for that, but it would be great to have something that could work with just existing browser features. I'm not sure if any cross-domain data stores exist, that don't rely on a trusted third party.

@acjay I am not sure I even know what you’re talking about, but I will say I think some of this is CLIENT behavior. I moved from Mastodon to Metatext on iOS and I think the behavior has significantly changed. People are interacting with my posts more, I am seeing more content

@Ilovelemons I'm using the web client for my instance, so I think I'm just getting whatever data the instance has. But I don't yet understand exactly how federation works.

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