Flipboard’s Migration to the Fediverse: A Unique Step in Social Media Evolution

Flipboard is now officially joining the fediverse, a collection of decentralized services that operate on the ActivityPub protocol. The news reading app, which has been experimenting with Mastodon for almost a year, plans to federate with Mastodon and the rest of the fediverse. Initially, Flipboard will start with about two dozen publishers, including Polygon, Medium, Semafor, Kotaku, and Mental Floss, with their content being discoverable across the fediverse. By next month, all public Flipboard accounts are expected to be federated, allowing anyone on an ActivityPub-powered app to view and interact with their posts.

Starting in April, all fediverse content will be readily available within the Flipboard app. This means users can browse content shared to Mastodon, Pixelfed, PeerTube, and other apps that make up the fediverse. Flipboard’s CEO, Mike McCue, is enthusiastic about the move, especially given the increasing interest in ActivityPub within the social media industry. Meta announced last week that it was working to make Threads compatible with Mastodon and the rest of the fediverse. McCue believes that the fediverse could have over 150 million people by the end of next year, with millions of Flipboard and Threads users joining the network.

Despite his previous ties to Twitter, McCue is now a strong supporter of Mastodon and the fediverse. He was once a member of Twitter’s board and reportedly considered selling Flipboard to Twitter in 2015. However, recent changes at Twitter, including Elon Musk’s takeover and the disintegration of its API, prompted him to explore Mastodon and other integrations. McCue believes that the momentum for the fediverse is so strong that Twitter may ultimately decide to support ActivityPub as well. He predicts that more and more companies will need to look at ActivityPub and wouldn’t be surprised if Twitter ultimately decides to adopt it.