Meta Expands Threads Integration with Mastodon and the Fediverse
Details from a meeting held at Meta's offices highlight Threads' integration with the fediverse, a network of decentralized applications that include Twitter/X rival Mastodon. The information was provided by Tom Coates, co-founder of Planetary, another decentralized application. His blog post suggests the Instagram-led effort to take over Twitter/X with a distributed application that would interact with similar apps through ActivityPub protocol was thorough and sincere.
In the meeting, it was revealed that in December, a feature capable of making Threads' posts visible to Mastodon clients was launched. An early test of ActivityPub integration allowed Threads posts involving select Instagram team members to appear on Mastodon. Among them was Instagram's top head, Adam Mosseri, who now ranks as the second most followed account on Mastodon.
Fediverse integration plans for Threads were further outlined in the meeting. By early 2024, Mastodon users can expect to see responses posted on the platform appearing in the Threads app. Later in the year, Threads users will have the option of following Mastodon accounts, replying to their posts, and liking their content. However, the complete interaction between the platforms is still a work in progress.
Content moderation plans were also hinted at. Threads could potentially exclude content that breaks the app's guidelines from the overall diverse visibility. Indeed, this could affect users who have been banned from Meta’s platform if they migrate their content to another Mastodon server.
Sources shared with the Coates that Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, envisions Threads as an entirely open platform, suggesting he sees this as the future of social networking. This aspect of social network development is not unique to Meta; other tech companies, including Flipboard and Automattic, have also embraced federated apps and ActivityPub. Furthermore, even Medium and Mozilla have established their own servers, with the latter supporting a Mastodon client named Mammoth.