“Mastodon’s Creator Praises Threads’ Federation, Declaring it a Superior Alternative to X”

More importantly for Mastodon, Meta committed to integrating Threads with ActivityPub, meaning users would be able to find and follow both Mastodon and Threads users across both services. While many expected that integration wouldn’t arrive until early 2024, Meta surprised everyone by announcing yesterday that it would begin testing ActivityPub integration. I’m pretty optimistic about this,” said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post on Threads. Threads users’ profiles on Mastodon weren’t backfilled with their older posts before the integration went live. With Threads’ integration into Mastodon’s ecosystem, users will have more choice in how they want to engage with Threads users and content, including by accessing those accounts from an app of their choosing.

Mastodon founder Eugen Rochko is excited about the new developments in the decentralized social media space. With the recent entry of Threads, a decentralized social networking platform powered by the ActivityPub protocol, Mastodon is poised to become an even more attractive option as an open source alternative to Twitter and other challengers.

“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 Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post on Threads.

The discontent over changes in Twitter has prompted users to seek out alternative platforms such as Mastodon, as well as other startups like Spill, Spoutible, Post, Bluesky, and more. However, with the recent entry of Instagram into the “Twitter clone” space, the dynamics have shifted once again. Instagram, backed by Meta’s extensive resources, has already gained nearly 100 million monthly active users after just three months since its launch, while Mastodon currently has 1.5 million monthly actives.

But the biggest game-changer for Mastodon is the commitment from Meta to integrate Threads with ActivityPub, allowing users to connect and follow both Mastodon and Threads users across both platforms. While many had expected this integration to happen in 2024, Meta surprised everyone with the announcement of testing ActivityPub integration yesterday.

In a post on Mastodon, founder Eugen Rochko clarified that the integration is currently one-way, meaning Mastodon users can follow a select few Threads users, such as Instagram head Adam Mosseri, but the reverse is not yet possible.

When integrating, Threads users’ profiles on Mastodon will not display older posts from other servers. Instead, the profiles will feature posts from the current point forward with a message instructing users to visit Threads to view older posts. However, a link to “browse more on the original profile” will allow users to visit Threads directly.

Eugen Rochko has been highly positive about the tech giant’s adoption of ActivityPub and decentralized social media, stating, “The fact that large platforms are adopting ActivityPub is not only a validation of the movement towards decentralized social media, but also a pathway for users to switch to better providers.” He also assures that even if Threads were to abandon ActivityPub in the future, the current situation would remain the same.

As the integration goes live, Eugen Rochko views it as a huge step towards the interoperable social web that Mastodon advocates for. He believes access to all Threads users on Mastodon will make the app even more attractive, especially considering its other perks.

Mozilla-backed third-party client Mammoth shares the same belief, stating that their app’s user-friendly interface and news partnerships make it a viable alternative to Threads, appealing to users who do not want to create an account with Meta. With Threads now integrated into Mastodon’s ecosystem, users can choose how they want to engage with Threads users and content, whether it be through their own app of choice.

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Max Chen

Max Chen is an AI expert and journalist with a focus on the ethical and societal implications of emerging technologies. He has a background in computer science and is known for his clear and concise writing on complex technical topics. He has also written extensively on the potential risks and benefits of AI, and is a frequent speaker on the subject at industry conferences and events.

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