Trying to understand Social app federation

Background: New to federation, new to Nextcloud. I have just begun prototyping smallish Nextcloud configurations to be deployed to (and maintained by) each branch of a (voluntary, non-profit) organization I belong to.

The goal is to provide a branch-level collaborative social space that’s sufficiently useful (and enjoyable!) that members feel they can shift significant portions of their online branch work and interactions out of Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Branch-level interactions would not require federation, of course, but it would be important in facilitating organization-wide, inter-branch communication and sharing – and, ultimately, in providing members of the organization with a platform which would enable them to publish to the world.

The Nextcloud Social app, in its current state, perplexes me. I have just set it up and can see that I am assigned a federated identity (@myname@mynextcloudinstance) but I see no way to follow other people, no way for them to follow me, and now way to do either of those things with respect to the broader fediverse. I have a Mastodon account elsewhere ( but I can’t even find a way to follow myself – there doesn’t seem to be anyplace where I can just enter a federated id to follow it.

Can anyone offer any guidance or point me to documents that would better help me understand, in particular, what my future users can expect to do (and not do) with Nextcloud Social?

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