Meta's Threads.net, Twitter's competitor, released outside the European Union. “Soon” (within a few months) it is preparing to work with other federated social media services (Fediverse) such as Mastodon, which creates fears and reactions.
On the bright side, if social media including Threads comes together in the coming months, they say we could have a real competitive environment. (Why Mark Elliot Zuckerberg Will Allow Healthy Competition….)
Joining the social media federation or Fediverse can mean many things. For example, at a basic level, a threads.net user will be able to follow and reply to @I'm sure. The same should apply to Tumblr or Flickr users when they join Fediverse.
Being able to join Mastodon or Tumblr and chat with Threads.net users already sounds like a pretty big improvement on the current situation.
But some commentators are reacting and they seem to be right.
Fediverse is built on protocols and content formats called “Activity Pub". This allows different servers to publish content to each other. However, formats are extensible and compatibility issues may arise.
Η μεγαλύτερη πλατφόρμα – η οποία πιθανότατα θα είναι το Threads.net της Meta βραχυπρόθεσμα – θα μπορούσε να χρησιμοποιήσει την γνωστή στρατηγική “υιοθέτηση, extension, σβήσιμο”.
First it chooses to “adopt” the new ActivityPub template. She can then choose to expand its functions in ways that suit her, but not others.
Or it might decide to drop support for things that other platforms do.
The result may be that the user experience looks much better on Threads.net than elsewhere.
Once ActivityPub starts to have problems with this strategy, Meta or another large, dominant platform may pull the plug on ActivityPub altogether, forcing more users to sign up for the service if they haven't already.
To keep the big ones honest Companies, competition authorities should have powers to insist on interoperability levels but also on features such as the relocation of user accounts.
I personally think it is a very bad development. We will see Meta applications grow aggressively and create "default" servers. Then they'll start squeezing everyone else. Not to mention all the US Secret Service shenanigans.
We might laugh about it now, but in a few months we may have server admins enforcing it Meta TOS to their users for fear of being cut off from most of the Fediverse.
The Fediverse should unite against the Meta.
The Google Chat tool ended up being released with the XMPP community. Their original chat system was federated (before federation, but the idea was essentially the same) and used the world's XMPP servers. You could use the messaging app before hangouts around the world via XMPP.
Then when Google became unhappy with how the XMPP standards were moving. So she replaced her entire protocol and stole the user base from the XMPP community.
Meta is apparently doing all this to get users from the Reddit, and Twitter exit wave.
Of course we can assume that other companies will follow suit if the Threads experiment is successful. And when it does, we'll have the Internet as we know it again. The Fediverse will begin to consist of corporations – data collection fiefdoms that will cut off everyone else.