This may be the future of Social Media

You may enjoy spending time on X but since your friends are on Snapchat you forcibly have to be there as well, just to stay connected. The walled gardens of Facebook, Snapchat, and the like keep us separated, making it a hassle to see that hilarious Instagram story your friend sent unless you sign up for that service. But a planned solution has been in the making for almost a decade.

And that will change everything!

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Remember the early days of social media? A simpler time, before algorithms fed us echo chambers and data privacy was just a fancy way of saying “Don’t let Zuckerberg stalk me.” Then came smartphones, and bam! Social media went mobile, evolving into a data-hungry beast, tracking our every click and using it to manipulate us.

Cambridge Analytica, anyone?

Now imagine a world where one of your social media accounts acts as a social passport, granting you access to vibrant communities on Snapchat, TikTok, and beyond. You wouldn’t need a dozen different accounts, just one account that can be used on all platforms. It sounds crazy, right? But that’s exactly what ActivityPub is all about.

Started in 2012, ActivityPub is an open-source protocol that lets social media platforms talk to each other. Users can follow or connect with each other across social media platforms such as you using your Instagram account to follow your grandparents on Facebook. So even if you post something on Instagram, your followers on Facebook or X will be able to see it on their feed.

It gives users control over their data, shattering the corporate stranglehold on our social lives.

As of now, Mastodon is the most popular social media platform that runs on this protocol.

And guess what? It’s not just some pie-in-the-sky dream. Platforms like Medium, Tumblr, and even Meta (yes, the Facebook folks!) are already experimenting with ActivityPub. Medium and Flipboard are already testing the waters with Mastodon, and Meta’s Twitter competitor, Threads, will be an early adopter.

So, what does this mean for us, the social media users? Well, for starters, it’s freedom. Freedom to choose where we hang out online, without being chained to specific platforms. We can move our data freely, taking our social lives with us, no platform lock-in is required. Sounds too good to be true, right?

Well, there are a few hiccups. ActivityPub is still a work in progress, not quite ready for prime time. Implementing it isn’t a walk in the park for developers, and using it won’t be as seamless as clicking a button just yet. But hey, every revolution starts with a spark, and the integration of ActivityPub by major players like Meta is a giant leap forward.

Threads embracing ActivityPub could be the first thread in the fabric of a decentralized social media tapestry. A future where we control our data, choose our platforms and connect with friends without getting lost in the walled gardens of Big Tech.

So, will ActivityPub succeed? Only time will tell.

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