Webmention is a simple protocol to notify any URL when a website links to it, and for web pages to request notifications when somebody links to them. Webmention was originally developed in the IndieWebCamp community and published as a W3C working draft on 2016-01-12. As of 2017-01-12 it is a W3C Recommendation. Webmention enables authors to keep track of who is linking to, referring to, or commenting on their articles. By incorporating such comments from other sites, sites themselves provide federated commenting functionality.
Similar to pingback, Webmention is one of four types of linkbacks, but was designed to be simpler than the XML-RPC protocol that pingback relies upon, by instead only using HTTP and x-www-urlencoded content.
- Pingback, the XML-RPC based protocol that webmention was modeled after.
- Linkback, the suite of protocols that allows websites to manually and automatically link to one another.
- Refback, a similar protocol but easier than Pingbacks since the site originating the link doesn't have to be capable of sending a Pingback request.
- Trackback, a similar protocol but more prone to spam.
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