Home / Software / Apps / According to the contents of the Meta conference, before the end of the year, you will be able to follow Mastodon users using Threads

According to the contents of the Meta conference, before the end of the year, you will be able to follow Mastodon users using Threads

Threads has unveiled its roadmap for integrating with the Fediverse, a network of decentralized apps that includes Mastodon and other alternatives to Twitter. In a recent blog post, Tom Coates, the co-founder of the decentralized app Planetary, shares the insights from a meeting held at Meta’s offices in December. During this meeting, the Threads team sought feedback from members of the fediverse community regarding their Instagram-led project. The goal of this project is to create a decentralized app that can eventually collaborate with other apps in the fediverse using the ActivityPub protocol.

During the meeting, Coates described the Instagram team’s efforts as sincere. They discussed the plan for integrating Threads with the fediverse, which will begin with a feature launch in December. This feature will enable posts from threads to be seen by Mastodon clients. Meta began testing ActivityPub integration in December, enabling thread posts to be visible on Mastodon. However, it only involved a specific group of individuals from the Instagram team, including Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram. Interestingly, Mosseri now has the second-highest number of followers on Mastodon, just behind the official Mastodon account, with a total of 675,606 followers.

During the meeting, the Threads team discussed the upcoming plans for their app as it expands into the fediverse. They mentioned that in early 2024, replies posted on Mastodon servers would be visible in the Threads application. Additionally, later in the year, users would have the ability to follow Mastodon accounts within threads, reply to their posts, and show appreciation by liking them. According to Coates, the complete compatibility between the two platforms has yet to be determined.

The team also discussed their approach to content moderation as they moved forward with Fediverse integration. They mentioned that content breaking their rules would be excluded from the wider fediverse and not visible in the Threads app. Furthermore, this rule could be relevant if a user who has been banned from Meta’s platform decides to transfer their content to a different Mastodon server.

There are still some unanswered questions at the moment. For instance, it’s unclear if Threads will include third-party Mastodon content in its algorithmic feed. It’s also uncertain if there will be an option for algorithmic choice or if Mastodon content will be visually distinct from Threads’ content. These are just a few of the uncertainties that remain. The conclusion is that Threads’ transition to the fediverse is still a work in progress, and the team is actively exploring the optimal approach.

A noteworthy detail from the post that stood out was Coates’ mention of multiple sources confirming Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s belief that Threads should be “totally open.” It seems that Zuckerberg sees openness as the future of social networking. Coates provided several explanations for Meta’s potential motivations, such as preempting future regulations or aiming to replace Twitter/X as the dominant platform in popular culture under Elon Musk’s ownership. This shift could potentially diminish its value as a platform for breaking news and meaningful discussions. However, it is possible that Zuckerberg is merely predicting the future direction of the web.

Other tech executives are also placing their bets on a decentralized future. Flipboard recently expanded its functionality by becoming a federated app with ActivityPub support. Automattic has enabled the federation of all WordPress.org and WordPress.com blogs and has plans to do the same with Tumblr in the coming year. In addition, Medium and Mozilla have established their own servers, with Mozilla also supporting a Mastodon client named Mammoth.

In a recent conversation with Flipboard CEO Mike McCue, he expressed his enthusiasm for Mastodon and ActivityPub. He highlighted that these platforms are not only shaping the future of social media but also the entire web.

“I witnessed the developments in ActivityPub, and it became abundantly evident to me that this is the undeniable future of the web,” McCue stated. He compared it to his early days at Netscape, persuading publishers to embrace the web by creating websites. Over time, web pages that link to others have become the foundation of the modern web.

“The social web has evolved into a complex network of interconnected pages and individuals, with people linking to both content and other people.” And he emphasized that this is the future of the web.

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