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Why your Threads posts will soon be accessible on Mastodon

Meta wants to make Threads posts available on services that use ActivityPub, a social networking protocol. Here's how the testing is coming along.
Written by Lance Whitney, Contributor
threads app on phone
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Users of Meta's Threads social network who'd like their posts to gain wider visibility may soon get their wish. On Wednesday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the company has started a test through which posts from Threads accounts would also be available on Mastodon and other services. The capability would come courtesy of ActivityPub, a social networking protocol that fosters connectivity among supported platforms.

"Making Threads interoperable will give people more choice over how they interact and it will help content reach more people," Zuckerberg said, adding "I'm pretty optimistic about this."

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Most social networks are closed platforms in which your posts are accessible only to other users of that service. But newer platforms such as Mastodon pride themselves on being open so that your posts can be shared across other like-minded services. All it takes is for a platform to support a protocol like ActivityPub to create this type of interoperability.

Though Mastodon is probably the best-known social network that supports ActivityPub, other compatible social networks and micro blogging services are out there, according to Wikipedia, including Friendica, Kbin, Libervia, Micro.blog, Misskey, and Pixelfed. Even WordPress has gotten in on the action via a plug-in. This means that Threads posts could appear on any of these platforms, and vice versa.

Following Zuckerberg's announcement, reports started popping up on Threads from Mastodon users able to see the Threads account of Instagram head Adam Mosseri, as noted by TechCrunch. From my Mastodon account, I was also able to view, follow, and access Mosseri's Threads account. In one of his Threads posts, Mosseri acknowledged the new interoperability.

"Threads posted by me and a few members of the Threads team will be available on other fediverse platforms like Mastodon starting this week," Mosseri said. "This test is a small but meaningful step towards making Threads interoperable with other apps using ActivityPub – we're committed to doing this so that people can find community and engage with the content most relevant to them, no matter what app they use."

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Mosseri also announced that Threads is expanding to more countries across Europe. This expanded access is available through the iOS and Android apps as well as through the Threads website.

Since its debut in July, Threads has been gradually but regularly adding new features, including many requested by users. Over the past month, the service has rolled out two highly anticipated options, specifically the ability to delete your profile without affecting your Instagram account and the option to add hashtags to your posts. Other items still on the wish list include more ways to personalize your profile and date/time stamps for all posts.

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