Eugen Rochko, founder and CEO of Mastodon:
Today, Meta is launching its new microblogging platform called
Threads. What is noteworthy about this launch is that Threads
intends to become part of the decentralized social web by using
the same standard protocol as Mastodon, ActivityPub. There’s been
a lot of speculation around what Threads will be and what it means
for Mastodon. We’ve put together some of the most common questions
and our responses based on what was launched today.
What strikes me about this FAQ is that nearly every question has no basis in reality. It’s calming the irrational fears of people who view Facebook as a corporate bogeyman. Having written quite a bit recently about Threads joining the open fediverse, I can vouch that these fears are real, insofar as people really do think Threads is somehow going to steal their data, or that Facebook is somehow going to show ads to people on Mastodon servers, but those fears have no more basis in reality than worrying about monsters who live under your bed.
Here’s the one that really matters:
Will Meta embrace-extend-extinguish the ActivityPub protocol?
There are comparisons to be made between Meta adopting ActivityPub
for its new social media platform and Meta adopting XMPP for its
Messenger service a decade ago. There was a time when users of
Facebook and users of Google Talk were able to chat with each
other and with people from self-hosted XMPP servers, before each
platform was locked down into the silos we know today. What would
stop that from repeating? Well, even if Threads abandoned
ActivityPub down the line, where we would end up is exactly where
we are now. XMPP did not exist on its own outside of nerd circles,
while ActivityPub enjoys the support and brand recognition of
★ Thursday, 6 July 2023