Fediverse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Excerpt of common protocols and platforms in the Fediverse (2023)

The fediverse (a portmanteau of "federation" and "universe") is an ensemble of social networks which can communicate with each other, while remaining independent platforms. Users on different social networks and websites can send and receive updates from others across the network.

ActivityPub, a W3C standard, is the most widely used protocol that powers the fediverse. Noted fediverse platforms include Mastodon, Lemmy, PeerTube, and Pixelfed.

Nearly all fediverse platforms are free and open-source software.

History[edit]

The various platforms of the fediverse, as well as other federated networks, visualised as a tree

The term fediverse was first used to describe the network formed by software using the OStatus protocol, such as GNU Social, Mastodon, and Friendica.[1]

In January 2018, the W3C presented the ActivityPub protocol, aiming to improve the interoperability between different software packages run on a wide network of servers. By 2019, a majority of software that was previously using OStatus had switched to ActivityPub,[2] and the term "fediverse" came to refer to the ActivityPub-based federated network.[citation needed]

Other Protocols[edit]

Other similar protocols include Bluesky's AT Protocol, Nostr and Farcaster.[3]

Gossip[edit]

Certain social networks, including Threads[4] and Tumblr, have expressed interest in adding fediverse-compatibility.[5]

Design[edit]

While a traditional social networking site will host all its content on servers owned by the parent company, the decentralized social media sites that make up the fediverse allow any individual or organization to host their own servers (referred to as an "instance").

Every instance is independent, and can set its own rules and expectations. Even so, much like how users of one email service such as Gmail can still send emails to users of another service such as Outlook, users may still view content and interact with users on any other instance in the fediverse. A user on one Mastodon instance, for example, may still view and interact with posts made by a user on a different Mastodon instance.[6]

Instances hosted by different social networking services may communicate with one another as well. A user on the microblogging platform Misskey, for example, may view and interact with posts made by users on Mastodon. Some fediverse networks even allow users to interact with multiple social networking formats from the same platform. For example, kbin allows users to interact with discussion forums (like those hosted on Lemmy instances) as well as microblog posts (as can be found on Mastodon).[7]

Software[edit]

There are many different software packages and services that allow users to participate in the fediverse. Some of them vaguely resemble Twitter in style (for example, Mastodon, Misskey, GNU social, and Pleroma, which are similar in their microblogging function), while others include more communication and transaction options that are instead comparable to Facebook (such as is the case with Friendica and Hubzilla). There are also third-party plugins for many CMSs such as WordPress and Drupal,[8][9] as well as bridges for other protocols such as RSS and Matrix.[10][11]

Software name MAU[12] Initial fediverse-compatible release Type
Akkoma[13] 4,164 2022[14] Microblogging
BookWyrm[15] 4,834 2021[16] Book cataloguing
Castopod[17] 2020[18] Podcasting
Epicyon[19] 2019[20] Microblogging
Firefish (f. Calckey)[21] 10,935 2022[22] Microblogging
Friendica
(f. Friendika; orig. Mistpark)
2,335 2010 Blogging, image gallery, event planner, groups
Funkwhale[23] 600 2018[24] Music hosting
Gancio[25] 2020[26] Events, calendar
GNU social
(f. StatusNet; orig. Laconica)
137 2008 Microblogging
GoToSocial[27] 42 2021[28] Microblogging
Guppe[29] 2021[30] Groups
Honk[31] 2019[32] Microblogging
Hubzilla
(f. RedMatrix; orig. Friendica-Red)[33]
933 2015[34] CMS, blogging, wiki, image gallery, file hosting
Inventaire.io[35] 2021 Book cataloguing
Kbin[36] 33,112 Pre-release Link aggregator, forum, microblogging
Lemmy 69,784 2019 Link aggregator, forum
Libervia 2022 Instant messaging, microblogging, blogging, file sharing, event management
lotide[37] 2020[38] Link aggregator
Mastodon 1,745,621 2016 Microblogging
Micro.blog 4,964 2017 Microblogging, blogging, photoblogging, podcasting
microblog.pub[39] 2022[40] Microblogging
Misskey 15,541 2018 Microblogging
Mobilizon 2020 Event and group management
Nextcloud Social 2018[41] File hosting
Owncast[42] 203 2022 Live video streaming
PeerTube 18,646 2018 Video sharing
Pixelfed 18,733 2018 Image sharing
Pleroma[43] 18,094 2019[44] Microblogging
Plume[45] 2018[46] Blogging
Postmarks[47] 2023[48] Bookmarking
Sharkey[49] 752 2023 Microblogging
Soapbox.pub[50] 2020[51] Microblogging
Socialhome 42 2016[52] Microblogging, blogging
Streams[53] 2022[54] Blogging, wiki, image sharing
Takahē[55] 5 2022[56] Microblogging
WriteFreely[57] 2018[58] Blogging
Zap[59] Blogging, image gallery, file hosting

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tilley, Sean (September 24, 2017). "A quick guide to The Free Network". We Distribute. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
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  3. ^ Pierce, David (December 19, 2023). "2023 in social media: the case for the fediverse". The Verge. Retrieved January 11, 2024.
  4. ^ "Introducing Threads: A New Way to Share with Text". July 5, 2023. Retrieved December 25, 2023. Our vision is that people using compatible apps will be able to follow and interact with people on Threads without having a Threads account, and vice versa, ushering in a new era of diverse and interconnected networks.
  5. ^ Bell, Karissa (July 5, 2023). "Meta's Threads app is here to challenge Twitter". Engadget. Yahoo. Archived from the original on July 6, 2023. Retrieved July 6, 2023.
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  57. ^ "WriteFreely". WriteFreely. Archived from the original on July 29, 2023. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
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  59. ^ "Zap". zotlabs.org. Archived from the original on June 20, 2023. Retrieved July 25, 2023.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]