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.
The main protocols used in distributed applications include:
- ActivityPub (Mastodon as the most popular app), which can be integrated with WordPress
- Matrix (Element as the most popular app)
- Scuttlebutt (SSB)
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.