What is Fediverse?


  • Currently available as a standalone app, but can only be used through an Instagram account, Threads will be the company’s first app to join the fediverse – a network of servers operated by third parties.

What is the fediverse?

  • The fediverse is a group of federated social networking services that work on decentralised networks operated using open-source standards. The fediverse is a group of federated social networking services that work on decentralised networks [File]

    Photo Credit: Reuters
  • Essentially, the fediverse is a network of servers run by third parties.
  • These servers are not controlled by any one entity and can be used by any member of social media platforms to facilitate communication between their users.
  • Enabling cross-platform communication while making it easier for users of one social media platform to communicate with users of a different platform, provided they are of the fediverse.
  • Users of social media platforms which use the fediverse can communicate seamlessly with each other, without the need to create or maintain separate accounts for each platform.
  • For example, once Threads becomes part of the fediverse, users on the platform will be able to communicate and interact with users of other social media platforms which use the fediverse like Mastodon, without making a new account on it.
  • Meta, in a blog post, described the fediverse as “a social network of different servers operated by third parties that are connected and can communicate with each other”.

Which other social media platforms use the fediverse?

  • While Meta’s Threads plans to join the fediverse, other platforms which currently make use of it include Pixelfed, a photo-sharing platform like Instagram; PeerTube, a decentralised video-sharing platform, Lemmy, Diaspora, Movim, Prismo WriteFreely, and others.

Why do social media platforms use the fediverse?

  • One of the main reasons for social media platforms to use the fediverse is to tap into its decentralised nature.
  • This allows users more control over the content they want to view, and the accounts they want to interact with along with the ability to enable cross-platform communications.
  • The fediverse also separates the user interface from the underlying data.
  • What this means is that users are not bound by the servers of the social media platform which hosts their online data and can freely transport their data to another platform.
  • Additionally, if the servers for an existing platform go down, users of platforms on the fediverse can retain and shift their data to another platform that is part of it.

Why is the fediverse not used by most social media platforms?

  • While the fediverse comes with its own set of benefits for users, there is little incentive for social media platforms to adopt the open standard.
  • One of the main reasons behind this is the very idea of a decentralised network and the problems it poses.
  • The lack of a centralised network leads to the problem of scalability since decentralised servers might not be able to handle large amounts of traffic.
  • Also, with the expansion of the number of servers, the propensity for failure and glitches could increase.
  • Another problem is content moderation as it would be difficult to decide content-moderation policies and their effective implementation due to the decentralised nature of the fediverse.
  • Similarly, due to the lack of a decentralised network, enforcement of data privacy policies will also be difficult as data once posted on a server might not be deleted due to the lack of data deletion policies on other servers.

Is the fediverse a new idea?

  • The idea of a fediverse has been around for decades.
  • In the past, companies like Google have tried to embrace the idea of a decentralised network.
  • In 2008, Evan Prodromu founded the microblogging platform Identi.ca, which used a protocol used in the fediverse.
  • In 2016, Mastodon and Pleroma both of which are part of the fediverse emerged as two notable social media networks.
  • In 2018, the W3 (Worldwide Web Consortium) created the ActivityPub protocol, which is currently one of the more commonly used protocols used by applications on the fediverse. 

Source: TH

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