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Adam Mosseri spells out Threads’ plans for the fediverse

Adam Mosseri spells out Threads’ plans for the fediverse

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The head of Instagram says a full integration with the fediverse could take ‘the better part of a year.’

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Illustration of the Threads app logo
Illustration: The Verge

On Friday, two days after Threads finally started publicly testing ActivityPub integration, Instagram head Adam Mosseri shared a thread on Threads detailing the company’s plans for its continued integration with the fediverse. Right now, it’s possible to follow a few Threads accounts (including Mosseri’s) from other platforms, but Meta has much bigger plans for Threads interoperability that Mosseri says will take “the better part of a year” to realize.

Here’s what’s in the works, according to Mosseri.

  • Mosseri says that the Threads team wants to make it so the option to follow a Threads account on other platforms is available to “all public accounts on Threads, not just a handful of testers.”
  • At the moment, he says the team plans to require accounts to be public and that users “explicitly opt in” to showing their posts on other federated servers. But the team is still considering making this the default, with the choice to opt out, instead.
  • The Threads team wants to let replies from other platforms show up inside of Threads. “It’s a bad experience now that I have to leave the Threads app to see replies I’m getting from the broader community,” Mosseri says.
  • Threads is planning to support the ability to follow non-Threads fediverse accounts. “There’s a fair amount to figure out with regards to privacy and integrity, but we’re actively working through those issues,” according to Mosseri.
  • This is a key one: follower portability. “Eventually, it should also be possible to enable creators to leave Threads and take their followers with them to another app / server,” Mosseri writes. “I believe that it’s important that creators own their relationship with their audience.”

Mosseri says the updates will roll out “in stages,” and he recognizes that the “better part of a year” timeline is a long one. “That’s a lot longer than I, or anybody on the team, wants, but it’s the reality given all the other work we need to be balance,” he says. Still, I’m encouraged by what we’ve already seen from the initial ActivityPub tests. I’ve watched a Threads video from Mosseri on Mastodon, that rules!

Here is a gallery of the full thread.

A screenshot of Threads posts from Adam Mosseri.

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Screenshot by Jay Peters / The Verge

Update December 15th, 5:57PM ET: Added screenshots of Mosseri’s thread.

Update December 16th, 8:31AM ET: Added more details posted by Mosseri.