Flipboard, the popular social curation app, has fully embraced the decentralized social web by integrating the networking protocol ActivityPub. In a major move, select Flipboard publisher accounts are now discoverable and can be followed by millions of users across the fediverse – Mastodon, Bluesky and other alternative platforms.
This integration provides a sneak peek into a future where all Flipboard users and content will be accessible across open social networks. As CEO Mike McCue declared, “We will be embracing ActivityPub into Flipboard and effectively reworking our whole backend.” The aim is to ultimately “tear down the walls around our own walled garden.”
The initial ActivityPub rollout connects chosen Flipboard profiles to user accounts on Flipboard’s own Mastodon server, flipboard.com. When users “flip” articles into their curated Flipboard magazines, those flips now also post to their Mastodon account.
By end of January 2023, all Flipboard users will have a flipboard.com account connected to the fediverse. Though opt-outs are possible, federated posting will be the default. For McCue, “This is the future of the web, period.”
For social media users tired of algorithmic feeds and walled gardens, federated platforms offer an alternative centered on transparency, user control and communication across services. Whether on Mastodon, Bluesky or elsewhere, finding and sharing great content is integral to the experience.
This is where Flipboard shines. Its entire ethos focuses on curating quality articles and information into personal magazines to improve discovery. Any federalized social app would benefit greatly from that human-driven curation.
As McCue summed up, “There needs to be beautiful and simple discovery and curation. That is what we’re focused on.” Flipboard has both the tools and incentive to enhance federated social media. Its publusher network and curation capabilities are formidable assets.
In embracing federation, Flipboard helps decentralization reach critical mass. And an open social web offers new horizons for Flipboard to increase its value proposition. Talk about a win-win scenario for all involved!
- Flipboard integrates ActivityPub to connect with open federated platforms
- Select accounts now discoverable; all users to join fediverse by January
- CEO declares “this is the future of the web, period” in teardown of walled gardens
- Flipboard’s curation strengths stand to significantly benefit federated networks
- Move helps decentralization hit momentum; and open web offers new opportunities