The Fediverse

Updated 28-Jun-2024

The Fediverse is a disparate set of social media services across many implementations, with two core elements:

  • They use open protocols to communicate across services and instances, creating a federation of users and uses.
  • They are primarily distributed and decentralized.

This decentralization (and federation) is not in the sense of a blockchain with multiple copies of a single ledger, but with single copies of single ledgers (locally owned and managed), all communicating together.

The main applications are the standard social media options:

  • Chat/calls/video conferencing (aka Telegram) - Element + Matrix
  • Group texting (aka Twitter) - Mastodon
  • Macro blogging (aka Facebook) - Not really interested in this so much
  • Video sharing (aka YouTube) - PeerTube
  • Code sharing (aka Github) - Git SSB = (Gogs + Scuttlebutt)
  • File sharing (aka Dropbox) - IPFS and Filecoin

    Essentially there are projects (large and small) tackling each of these areas of social media and communication.

Decentralized protocols

The main protocols used in distributed applications include:

BlueSky, a Twitter spinout is developing another protocol as it finds these wanting. There is a lot of interest in what they are developing, but there is nothing concrete to play with, beyond a protocol document.