Tumblr will add help for ActivityPub, the open, decentralized social networking protocol that’s at present powering social networking software program like Twitter various Mastodon, the Instagram-like Pixelfed, video streaming service PeerTube, and others. The information was revealed in a response to a Twitter consumer’s grievance about Mastodon’s complexities. Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg — whose firm acquired Tumblr from Verizon in 2019 — suggested the consumer “come to Tumblr” as the location would quickly “add activitypub for interconnect.”
“Don’t stress,” he said, earlier than clarifying that Tumblr first has to take care of the waves of recent customers coming in proper now from Twitter, however that help for “interop and activitypub” had been on account of come “ASAP.”
Briefly, this announcement means Tumblr would transfer from being solely a distinct segment running a blog platform to as a substitute develop into part of a bigger, decentralized social community of types — and one whose consumer base has grown in measurement in current days as individuals flee Elon Musk’s Twitter in quest of new communities.
The ActivityPub protocol, its web site explains, gives a client-to-server API for creating, updating, and deleting content material in addition to a federal server-to-server API for delivering notifications and subscribing to content material. In apply, which means that Mastodon customers can work together and comply with customers on different situations (independently run nodes), in addition to with customers on different social apps (like PeerTube), which additionally help the implementation of ActivityPub. It makes for an online of social networks the place customers can discover and comply with one another with out having to arrange new accounts on every new service.
That is the other method to at present’s “walled backyard” social networks, the place a publish on one platform can’t be seen by these on others, except you re-upload or repost the content material instantly or share a hyperlink to the opposite website the place the content material will be discovered.
If Tumblr had been so as to add ActivityPub help, it means customers on Mastodon may comply with Tumblr customers’ posts from their very own Mastodon occasion — with out having to make use of the Tumblr app. It may additionally present Tumblr customers with an entry level into the so-called “fediverse” with out having to face among the complexities which might be concerned with signing up for Mastodon for the primary time.
Tumblr was already benefitting from the Twitter exodus, having grown its U.S. app installs 7% week-over-week from the week previous to the acquisition and the 7 days after, information.ai had reported earlier this month. And, as of 12 days after Twitter’s acquisition, Tumblr’s worldwide downloads surged 77% to 301,000 up from 170,000 within the 12 days earlier than the acquisition, Sensor Tower not too long ago stated.
Mullenweg later provided a glimpse into Tumblr’s metrics, noting to The Atlantic that iOS downloads of the Tumblr app had been up 62% the week after Musk took over Twitter. However even earlier than Musk took Twitter’s helm, Mullenweg had been desirous about how Tumblr may higher compete with Twitter sooner or later.
Extra not too long ago, he’s been making an attempt to instantly recruit former Twitter staff to come back work for Automattic as a substitute, establishing a devoted web site for the aim.
Automattic, we must always observe, already has some expertise with ActivityPub.
Along with Tumblr, Automattic runs the running a blog service WordPress.com and contributes to the open-source WordPress running a blog software program platform. The latter at present presents an ActivityPub plug-in for self-hosted WordPress websites. This permits a WordPress weblog’s readers to comply with their posts on Mastodon and different federated social platforms. One may think about an analogous situation for Tumblr, if ActivitiyPub help was added.
Mullenweg didn’t provide an ETA as to how “ASAP” this help could be added.
Tumblr was not in a position to present an instantaneous remark when reached.