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@Potus just joined the fediverse via Instagram Threads

The fediverse – the name of the social network made up of interconnected servers, like Mastodon and others – just received a new boost of legitimacy on Tuesday when the @Potus (President of the United States) account on Instagram Threads shared its first federated publication. The account run by Biden’s team posted a message about the president’s support for reproductive freedom on Threads, Meta’s upcoming Twitter/X competitor.

Soon after, Threads users noticed that his post featured Threads’ fediverse sharing logo – a circular shape that resembles planets orbiting a star, giving a sense of the interconnected universe which constitutes the fediverse.

Image credits: Screenshot of chats

Although many consumers are not yet familiar with the terminology, fediverse is an idea that is poised to become a more important part of the future of social media in the coming months, especially given Meta’s adoption of the underlying ActivityPub technology and protocol.

In short, the term refers to interconnected servers running social networks that can all communicate with each other. Mastodon, an open source Twitter-like publishing service, is a prominent member of the fediverse, as are other platforms like video-sharing service PeerTube, Instagram alternative Pixelfed, discussion forum software company Lemmy , the WriteFreely publishing platform and others.

Together, these services constitute a “social web” that has a total of 9.9 million users, of which approximately 1.08 million are active on a monthly basis.

When Meta introduced Threads, its text-focused Twitter/X competitor, the company announced plans to federate the app so that users on Mastodon and other networks could see and respond to Threads users’ posts.

Late last year, Threads began testing this integration, and in March opened fediverse sharing to Threads users in beta. This feature is not yet fully deployed and still has some limitations. For example, currently Threads users cannot see who has replied to or liked their posts on other servers and cannot share their posts with polls. But these are features that will arrive in the future.

Despite the lack of this feature, the adoption of federated sharing by the @Potus account means that Biden’s posts will have a wider reach, as they can be viewed by users who are not already on Threads, X or d other non-federated social applications.

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