The text-based social media scene is undergoing a big revolution. While Twitter, a traditional player and the pioneer of the format has been focused on building revenue opportunities for its users and working on its immersive video experience, newer players like Mastodon, Threads, and Bluesky are building a tech-forward social media experience that is being called ‘fediverse’. It essentially means that users can jump from one social media platform to another without ever having to create a new profile or lose their existing data. Taking a step in that direction, Meta’s Threads dropped a major update where among other features, it was announced that Threads users will be able to verify their profile on Mastodon and other supported platforms.
Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, posted in the late hours of yesterday, August 9, announcing the new feature. He said, “We’ve also rolled out Threads support for rel=me links to help you verify your identity on platforms like Mastodon. You can now add your Threads profile link on supported platforms to verify your identity. Proud of the team for taking meaningful steps towards adopting open standards and the fediverse”.
What is fediverse and how does it work
This decentralized feature, also known as Fediverse (a portmanteau of Federation and Universe) is being looked at as the next logical step in creating a platformless social media experience. Consider the following scenario.
Maybe you like the group of people you are connected with on a social media platform and you would want to see their posts, but the platform either has a strange algorithm that recommends posts you are not interested in or lacks some features you want or just does not match your aesthetics. In the days of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you were sort of stuck and the only option you had was to create an entirely new profile on the new platform and start from scratch, be it posting or adding new friends or filling out your bio. With years of data stored in each platform, it also acted as a deterrent in people exploring new social media platforms.
But with the fediverse framework, this is no longer the case. This new protocol called the ActivityPub protocol, will let you use your profile as an independent domain. So all your posts, bio, friends, basically your entire data, is stored within this domain. You can simply use this domain link, add it to a different website, and start using that. The website will accept your data and will fill out all details, add your post history, and add all your friends that use the platform. And you can begin using the site as if you have been for years.
We are at the very beginning of this technology, but eventually, it is supposed to look something like this.
Threads gets more features
While the fediverse feature has become the main talking point, Mosseri also announced four more features to Threads.
In a separate post, he said, “The Threads updates keep on coming.
Here’s what’s new:
Share threads in Instagram DMs – tap the share button and you’ll now see “Send on Instagram”
See all the threads you’ve liked – head to your profile, go to settings and select “Your likes”
Sort the accounts you follow – from your profile tap your followers, head to following and tap “Sort”
Add custom alt-text – attach your image/video and tap “Alt text” to add”.
However, a Threads DM, an explore page, and a trending page, three of the most requested features have still not been added to the platform. In the past, it was reported that the developers are working to bring these features as soon as possible.