Instagram’s new social media network Threads, officially launched today. The service developed by Meta, has an unusual domain name. We would normally expect to see a global service like this be at the most popular top-level domain .com, but there are a couple of reasons it is not.
The first is that Threads.com is actually taken by a Slack alternative, designed for makers. I’m sure there were conversations about acquiring the domain, but as it stands, they still own it.
The second reason is that Threads is actually built on something called ActivityPub, a decentralized social networking protocol that allows users to interact with each other across different social networks.
This protocol has actually been around since January 2018 and is published by W3, the same people that brought us accessibility guidelines.
It is based on the ActivityStreams 2.0 data format, which defines a standard way to represent social interactions. ActivityPub provides a client-to-server API for creating, updating, and deleting content, as well as a server-to-server API for delivering notifications and content.
Why does threads.net use ActivityPub?
Threads.net is a decentralized social network that aims to give users more control over their data. By using ActivityPub, threads.net can connect with other ActivityPub-enabled social networks, allowing users to share their content and interact with other users across different platforms.
This makes it easier for users to stay connected with their friends and family, even if they are using different social networks.
Benefits of using ActivityPub
- Decentralization: ActivityPub is a decentralized protocol, which means that it is not controlled by any single company. This makes it more difficult for a single company to censor or control the flow of information.
- Interoperability: ActivityPub-enabled social networks can interoperate with each other, allowing users to share their content and interact with other users across different platforms. This makes it easier for users to stay connected with their friends and family, even if they are using different social networks.
- Privacy: ActivityPub is designed to be privacy-friendly. Users can control who can see their content and how it is shared.
Who else uses ActivityPub?
Threads aren’t the first to use this protocol and certainly won’t be the last. Other services like Mastodon, Misskey, PeerTube, Pixelfed, Pleroma, Lemmy and Nextcloud use ActivityPub, although many of those I hadn’t heard of until now.
Mark Zuckerberg announced that Threads had reached 10 million users in just 7 hours from the official launch, an impressive number considering how long it took other social networks to reach the same amount.
|Social network||Time to reach 10 million users|
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After signing up this morning, I now have 134 followers on Threads. If you want to follow techAU on Threads, you can do so at https://www.threads.net/@techau