Add your own custom Mastodon emoji

Posted by:

  • Avatar of Konstantin


Self-hosting a Mastodon (and really any Fediverse flavour) server comes with many perks. Adding custom emojis for fun or as part of one's branding is by far one of my favourite!

If you've been hanging out on the fediverse for a while, you've undoubtedly seen custom emojis. Folks would add one, more or a whole lot to their posts or profiles.

Normally, you'd have to reach out to your instance admin to have an image added as a custom emoji. However, if you're self-hosting your instance, your totally free to do so yourself. Isn't that wonderful 🤩!

To do so, you can head to Settings > Administration > Custom emojis (it's at `admin/custom_emojis` on Mastodon) or the equivalent for your fediverse server. Click the upload button and then define the image and short code for the new emoji. That's all!

Screenshot Upload Custom Emoji on Mastodon
Screenshot of the upload custom emoji admin panel on Mastodon -

Design your emoji

If you're feeling creative, you can also design your own emoji. For that, I recommend you follow this excellent guide by Laura Kalbag 👨‍🎨.

Pro Tip: You can also "clone" emojis from other servers

While exploring the Custom emojis section of the admin panel, you may notice that it contains a lot more emojis than the ones you've uploaded yourself. That's because Mastodon would cache emojis from remote servers when it discovers them in federated posts. You can make these emojis permanently available on your server by selecting them and clicking Copy.

Screenshot select and copy emojis
Screenshot select and copy emojis -