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Flipboard deepens its ties with the open source social web (aka the Fediverse)




Flipboard deepens its ties with the open source social web (aka the Fediverse)

Clapboarda Web 2.0-era social magazine app that is reinventing itself to capitalize on the renewed push for an open social web, deepening its ties with the Fediverse – the social network of interconnected servers that includes apps like Mastodon, Pixelfed, PeerTube, and, over time, Instagram Threads, among others. On Thursday, the company announced it is expanding its fediverse integrations to an additional 400 Flipboard makers and introducing fediverse notifications to the Flipboard app itself.

The latter allows Flipboard users to see their new followers and other activity around the content they share in the fediverse directly in the Flipboard app. This follows last year’s introduction of a Mastodon integration into the app, replacing Twitter, and the introduction of support for ActivityPub – the social networking protocol that powers the open source, decentralized social networks including Mastodon and others.

In February of this year, Flipboard announced that it would also be adding its creators and their social magazines to the fediverse, meaning the curated magazines with links and other social posts that creators typically share within the Flipboard app will now have a wider audience could find. By sharing creators’ posts and links with the broader federation, Flipboard’s publishing partners got their own native ActivityPub feeds, so they could be discovered by Mastodon users and users of other federated social apps. That first step towards federation was started with 1,000 Flipboard magazines and today another 400 are added. In total, Flipboard says there are now more than 11,000 curated Flipboard magazines available to federated social network users.

“This is an important step toward fully federating our platform,” Flipboard CEO Mike McCue said in an announcement. “In addition to exposing curated content on Flipboard, we enable two-way communication so users can see activity and interact with diverse communities. Personally, it has made my curation even more exciting because I know I am reaching new people who may share my interests,” he added.

The expanded set of accounts includes public accounts at one or two public journals with activity managed within the last 30 days and that have no trust or security violations. They have also participated in Flipboard community programs. Accounts are notified of their federated status via email.

While Flipboard is working to federate its users’ accounts by default, people can unfederate by disabling the “Federate” button in their Flipboard settings.

In addition to the new federated magazines, Flipboard is also bringing a more integrated federated experience to its own app. With the version arriving today (version 4.3.25), Flipboard users can see their new Fediverse followers in their Flipboard Following tab, while their Flipboard notifications will now include Fediverse comments and conversations.

This notification window now contains three sections: Replies, Activity, and News. In Replies, users can view and respond to posts from people on Flipboard and in the fediverse, as well as other fediverse @mentions. When they respond, their response is also sent back to Fediverse, making Flipboard more of a Fediverse client app than before. The Activity tab shows users the likes, followers, and boosts (the Fediverse’s take on the retweet), along with other Flipboard activity. The News section (formerly called Content) now shows the latest news and other stories recommended by Flipboard’s editors.

The company had already started curating content for Fediverse users through a handful of “news bureaus” (special Fediverse accounts) that directed users to interesting articles and links on various topics. There is a broader one news desk, plus those dedicated to Technology, CultureAnd Science. This existing management can help fuel the newly revamped News section in the Flipboard app.