Flipboard, the popular news aggregation platform, has officially begun to support ActivityPub, marking a significant change in its approach to social media and content curation. ActivityPub is an Internet protocol used by decentralized network services and is a key element of the so-called fediverse.
Earlier this year, Flipboard made the decision to move away from X (formerly Twitter) due to increasing API costs, and has since shifted its focus to Mastodon and BlueSky, emphasizing decentralized and alternative social media platforms. In line with this, Flipboard also launched its own Mastodon server, flipboard.social, for experimental purposes, allowing users to familiarize themselves with the platform.
Now, Flipboard has taken its commitment to the fediverse further by beginning to federate user accounts. This means that the Flipboard application will link to the fediverse, allowing users to connect and interact with other federated accounts. Initially, Flipboard will allow the monitoring of a selected number of accounts, including publishers of global news, technology, music, games, travel, and science, as well as content creators and nonprofit organizations dedicated to promoting nonpartisan journalism and combating misinformation.
The next phase of the integration will allow for public Flipboard user accounts to be tracked from any other platform in the fediverse and vice versa, emphasizing cross-platform interaction and tracking. Flipboard’s intention is to respect the privacy settings established in the accounts, while enabling users to monitor content published on other fediverse platforms.
This move is significant as it signifies Flipboard’s shift from being a walled garden to becoming part of the larger fediverse, which includes various decentralized social media platforms. Additionally, by supporting ActivityPub, Flipboard aims to strengthen the fediverse as a viable alternative to traditional social media platforms like X (formerly Twitter).
The integration with the fediverse is being rolled out in three phases, with the first phase focusing on federating 25 editors and creators for testing. Flipboard also stresses the importance of setting a precedent for how other services will be federated in the future, and emphasizes a thoughtful and collaborative approach in this process.
In addition to the integration with the fediverse, Flipboard has announced efforts to improve moderation and support other instances within the fediverse. This includes expanding global moderation capabilities and collaborating with owners of other instances, both small and large.
Overall, Flipboard’s move to support ActivityPub and integrate with the fediverse is a significant step towards decentralization and interoperability in the world of social media and content curation. As the platform continues to evolve and expand its presence in the fediverse, it marks a positive shift towards a more interconnected and diverse social media ecosystem.