Move Over Twitter, Threads is Going Fediverse Follow Dec 13, 2023 · 2 mins read
Move Over Twitter, Threads is Going Fediverse
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In a surprise announcement, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared that Threads, the company’s Twitter-competitor app, will soon become interoperable with the fediverse via decentralized protocols. This means Threads content and profiles will be viewable on Mastodon and other ActivityPub-based social platforms.

“Making Threads interoperable will give people more choice over how they interact and it will help content reach more people. I’m pretty optimistic about this,” said Zuckerberg.

For those thinking “fedi-whatsit?”, here’s a quick explainer. The fediverse refers to a collection of independent, decentralized social media servers. Together, they facilitate open access and data portability across platforms. Power comes from the collective, not a centralized authority like Meta.

By tapping into the fediverse, Threads plugs into a network of millions of users across thousands of servers. It divides Meta’s dominance and lets users decide where and how to engage. Of course, Meta still profits from all the Threads activity, so maybe it’s not feeling too altruistic.

Understandably, some fediverse mods aren’t thrilled by a Meta invasion. But most see it as a step toward data liberation from walled gardens. Users get more control over their content rather than being locked in Zuckerberg’s kingdom.

For now, Mastodon users can follow Threads profiles but not vice versa. It’s a start, and the plan is for full interoperability. Back in August, Threads also added Mastodon profile verification. Slowly but surely, Meta is decentralizing Threads.

What Does This Mean for You?

As a Threads user, your content and profile may suddenly gain a whole new audience on the fediverse. Mastodon alone has millions of monthly users. This unlocks serious exposure potential.

Your posts made on Threads could end up displayed to a indie bookshop owner in Edinburgh or a goat farmer in Peru - not the usual crowd for polished, blue-checkmarked metaverse citizens. But it does expand horizons.

You also gain more control over your data. If you ever leave Threads, your content comes with you and remains visible. Things you share, like photos and comments won’t disappear into a Meta void. Portability is freedom.

For Meta, embracing federation signals they are serious about decentralization and open ecosystems. They see the backlash against data exploitation and loss of privacy. The fediverse aligns incentives around user needs, not profit.

Maybe Meta is changing its ways or just paying lip service; the coming months will tell. But connecting Threads to the fediverse is a trailblazing move, no matter the motivation.

Other Fediverse Platforms to Watch

Threads will exchange ActivityPub data with Mastodon first but that’s just one fediverse server. The concept transcends individual platforms. Other notable fediverse apps include:

  • PeerTube: Video sharing alternative to YouTube
  • PixelFed: Photo feed and galleries, like Instagram
  • Friendica: Facebook-style profiles and timelines
  • Lemmy: An alternative to Reddit hosted in various places.

Notice that I did not mention Hive or Steemit, which are simply frontends to single blockchain backends.

In time, Threads could integrate with many or all of these. For now it’s Mastodon, but the possibilities span gaming, events, messaging, video - anything communication-related.

As they say, the fediverse is the limit. This initial bridging from Threads is only the beginning as the next era of social interaction takes shape.

Written by Follow