Upcoming Feature: Follow Mastodon Users through Threads by the End of the Year – Insights from the Meta Meeting

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Threads’ roadmap for integrations with the fediverse, aka the network of decentralized apps that includes Twitter/X rival Mastodon and others, has been revealed. In the meeting, which Coates characterized as a “good faith” effort by the Instagram team, the roadmap for Threads’ fediverse integration was laid out, starting with a December launch of a feature within the Threads app that would allow their posts to become visible to Mastodon clients. Meta did, in fact, start testing ActivityPub integration in December, allowing Threads posts to appear on Mastodon. In addition, this rule would potentially come into play when a user banned from Meta’s platform moved their content to another Mastodon server. Other questions remained unresolved at this time — like whether Threads would surface third-party Mastodon content in its algorithmic feed, whether it would ultimately allow for algorithmic choice, whether Mastodon content would be made to appear visually differentiated from Threads’ content in some way, and more.

“ActivityPub Integration Launches on Flipboard: Expanding Federated Capabilities”

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Today, the social magazine app Flipboard is announcing it has also now integrated with ActityPub. That changed this year, when Flipboard shifted its Twitter integration over to Mastodon and another alternative social app, Bluesky. All this was in the lead-up to making Flipboard itself a federated social app, a process that’s kicking off today. As this rolls out, all Flipboard users will have one account connected to the fediverse, even if they host numerous Flipboard magazines. Today, Flipboard has over 10,000 publishers of social magazines on its app and over a quarter million individuals who are curating content using Flipboard’s app.

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

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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.