Why Meta is looking to the fediverse as the future for social media

Meta’s move into the open social web, also known as the fediverse, is puzzling. Does the Facebook owner see open protocols as the future? Will it embrace the fediverse only to shut it down, shifting people back to its proprietary platforms and decimating startups building in the space? Will it bring its advertising empire to […]

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Substack rival Ghost confirms it will join the fediverse in 2024

Ghost, an open-source rival to Substack’s newsletter platform, has confirmed it will this year officially join the fediverse — or the open social network of interconnected servers that includes apps like Mastodon, Pixelfed, PeerTube, Flipboard and, more recently, Instagram Threads, among others. Last week, the company teased its plans by surveying its users about how they may want […]

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@Potus just joined the fediverse via Instagram Threads

The fediverse — the name for the social network made of interconnected servers, like Mastodon and others — just got another boost of legitimacy Tuesday as the @Potus (President of the United States) account on Instagram Threads shared its first federated post. The account operated by Biden’s team published a message regarding the president’s support […]

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Mastodon users can now share their profile via QR code on Android

Decentralized social network Mastodon has updated its official app for Android to let users easily share their profiles with QR Codes. This could be useful in loud places like event and hotel lobbies to exchange profiles, the company said in a blog post. To share the QR code, users can go to their profile tab […]

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Spam attack on Twitter/X rival Mastodon highlights ‘Fediverse’ vulnerabilities

A spam attack that impacted the open source X rival Mastodon, Misskey, and other apps highlights how the decentralized social web, also known as the Fediverse, is open to abuse. Over the past several days, attackers have targeted smaller Mastodon servers, taking advantage of open registrations to automate the creation of spam accounts. Mastodon founder […]

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Flipboard just brought over 1,000 of its social magazines to Mastodon and the fediverse

The fediverse just got a little bigger today as Flipboard has now launched over 1,000 of its social magazines across the decentralized social web, allowing its curators and publishers to reach new audiences. The news follows the magazine app’s December announcement that it would begin to integrate directly with the fediverse, or the decentralized social […]

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WordPress blogs can now be followed in the fediverse, including Mastodon

In March, WordPress.com owner Automattic made a commitment to the fediverse — the decentralized social networks that include the Twitter rival Mastodon and others — with the acquisition of an ActivityPub plug-in that allows WordPress blogs to reach readers on other federated platforms. Now, the company is announcing ActivityPub 1.0.0 for WordPress has been released […]

Adam Mosseri says Meta’s Threads app won’t have ActivityPub support at launch

Meta is set to launch its text-based Twitter rival Threads tomorrow. However, Meta briefly made the platform live on the web before pulling the links. During that time, users could already read posts from existing users on the web without an account (something that is currently not possible on Twitter anymore).

Notably, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said in a post that there will be no ActivityPub support at launch. ActivityPub is a protocol that is used to post on decentralized networks like Mastodon. But the platform plans to allow interactions with other fediverse servers in the future.

When you tap on the threads.net button next to someone’s profile, Threads shows a popup saying users will soon be able to interact with people on other servers on the fediverse.

“Soon, you’ll be able to follow and interact with people on other fediverse platforms, such as Mastodon. They can also find people on Threads using full usernames, such as @mosseri@threads.net.”

Image Credits: Threads.net

Mosseri also noted that the team building Threads wasn’t able to complete the work to support fediverse at launch.

“We’re committed to building support for ActivityPub, the protocol behind Mastodon, into this app. We weren’t able to finish it for launch given a number of complications that come along with a decentralized network, but it’s coming,” he said.

“If you’re wondering why this matters, here’s a reason: you may one day end up leaving Threads, or, hopefully not, end up de-platformed. If that ever happens, you should be able to take your audience with you to another server. Being open can enable that.”

Folks like Mark Zuckerberg, Mosseri, YouTuber iJustine and Formula 1 driver Lando Norris, along with brands like Netflix, have been posting on the platform already. These accounts already have a few thousand followers, so presumably, there are that many users on the Threads app already.

Image Credits: Threads.net

At the moment, you can only view posts and profiles as well as share links to those posts. One neat feature on the site is that clicking on the Threads icon on the top will change the theme from light to dark or vice versa.

On Tuesday, Instagram head Adam Mosseri posted that users will be able to decide who can reply to posts — everyone, profiles they follow or accounts cited in the post.

Image Credits: Threads.net

While Threads will launch on Thursday, Ireland’s data regulator has said that the app won’t launch in the EU for now due to privacy concerns surrounding it. Users on other platforms have already posted about the amount of data collected by the Threads app based on the data labels on the App Store.

Adam Mosseri says Meta’s Threads app won’t have ActivityPub support at launch by Ivan Mehta originally published on TechCrunch

WordPress.com owner Automattic acquires an ActivityPub plugin so blogs can join the Fediverse

WordPress.com sites now have an easier way to integrate with the Fediverse, including Mastodon. Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, Tumblr, and other web publishing tools is the new owner of the ActivityPub for WordPress plugin and has also recruited its developer to come work for the company, according to Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg.

The newly acquired plugin allows WordPress.org and WordPress.com blog owners to reach readers on federated platforms, like the Twitter rival Mastodon and others. Once installed, readers are able to follow the WordPress blogs on their preferred federated platform, view the blog posts, and reply with comments. The replies posted to a federated site like Mastodon then become blog post comments.

The developer has been working to improve the plugin’s WordPress integration and add support for threaded comments, among other things, the plugin’s webpage notes.

At present, the ActivityPub plugin supports federated platforms including Mastodon, Pleroma, Friendica, HubZilla, Pixelfed, SocialHome, and Misskey. It’s been downloaded over 35,000 times to date, according to its statistics page.

Image Credits: Automattic

By going in-house with Automattic, the developer, Matthias Pfefferle, will have access to further resources and support to make the plugin more functional over time. Mullenweg says the plan now is to test and experiment with the plugin — much as the company previously did with the Gutenberg editor — which is the first step to any major changes to the platform.

Mullenweg has been bullish on the promises of the Fediverse — the decentralized web powered by interconnected servers running open source applications, including the newly popular Mastodon, the Instagram-like Pixelfed, and others. Late last year, for example, the CEO said Tumblr would add support for ActivityPub, the protocol that powers Mastodon and other decentralized social apps. However, he had not declared any specific plans for WordPress.com.

The news follows a number of moves by other publishers to embrace the Fediverse. Earlier this month, Medium announced it would launch its own Mastodon server and integrate with ActivityPub. magazine app Flipboard also announced it was launching its own instance on flipboard.social and integrated with Mastodon so its users could follow Mastodon updates in the Flipboard app.

However, ActivityPub is not the only protocol Automattic is testing, Mullenweg says. The company has also been testing Nostr and Bluesky (or, the AT protocol) — now powering another Twitter competitor backed by Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey.

“I’m still curious about Nostr and other protocols,” Mullenweg told TechCrunch. “It’s all very nascent right now.”

Terms of the plugin’s acquisition aren’t being disclosed, but this was not a large purchase as the plugin is a small, one-person operation. The developer will start with Automattic in April, we understand.

Mullenweg also notes his company has not been directly impacted by the SVB crisis but had reached out to various companies and partners with offers to help.

WordPress.com owner Automattic acquires an ActivityPub plugin so blogs can join the Fediverse by Sarah Perez originally published on TechCrunch