September 27, 2023

The fediverse is expanding.

WordPress released version 1.0.0 of the ActivityPub plugin last week, allowing users to connect their WordPress blog to other social media platforms on the fediverse like Mastodon. Once bloggers install the new plugin, users can follow them on other platforms and see their posts directly on those feeds. The update also makes it possible for bloggers to receive updates from all authors on their blogs, not just individual author accounts. 

“Once ActivityPub is installed, only new posts going forward will be available in the fediverse. Likewise, even if you’ve been using ActivityPub for a while, anyone who follows your site, will only see new posts you publish from that moment on,” Matthias Pfefferle & Automattic, the folks behind WordPress, explained in the ActivityPub plugin description. “They will never see previously-published posts in their Home feed. This process is very similar to subscribing to a newsletter. If you subscribe to a newsletter, you will only receive future emails, but not the old archived ones. With ActivityPub, if someone follows your site, they will only receive new blog posts you publish from then on.”

All you have to do is install the ActivityPlug plugin, make your blog’s author profile page active, follow your social account on Mastodon (or any other federated platform), publish a new post on your blog, and within 15 minutes, the post will appear in your home feed. The plugin works with many tested federated platforms, including Mastodon, Pleroma/Akkoma, friendica, Hubzilla, Pixelfed, Socialhome, Misskey, and Firefish.

This is part of an ongoing effort to make the internet more connected via the fediverse, which is a decentralized social network that allows users to have an account on one service and post on other services. 

The fediverse has been around for some time, but it recently got a boost in popularity after Elon Musk started ruining X, formerly known as Twitter. Mastodon was one of the first and best X alternatives, and it exists in the fediverse. Before you join Threads, another potential X replacement, a disclaimer pops up: “Future versions of Threads will work within the Fediverse, a new type of social media network that allows people to follow and interact with each other on different platforms.” (Threads is not on the fediverse yet.)

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