In the past few years, one of the emerging standards of social networking applications has become quite popular that offers a much more user-centric approach and aims to be quite powerful than the existing social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. This new protocol called ActivityPub is designed in such a way that it can rewire the whole social networking of the internet.
How Does ActivityPub Reshape Social Media For A Better Internet Future?
In the past few months, a lot of tech companies have invested their resources into ActivityPub, which is now known to be the Fediverse. A few of the companies working on ActivityPub are Medium, Mozilla, Flipboard, and even Meta.
Moreover, now WordPress has also launched its plugin of ActivityPb, which would allow WordPress developers to use activityPub in their applications. Further, a lot of developers are also working on creating several applications like Youtube using the Activity Pub.
But what is ActivityPub? Well, the answer to this question is this article. In this article, we will discuss everything about ActivityPub and how it aims to revolutionize the social media Industry.
What Is ActivityPub?
ActivityPub is a new technology that aims to design a network that is quite interoperable and connects everyone with one single social graph and content-sharing system. This is quite an old mechanism, of how a social media website should be fundamentally.
Think of it like an old-school web chat or email. Further, this is completely governed by open protocols unlike now where platforms are controlled by a centralized entity. The main goal of this protocol is to give users complete freedom and ownership while using social media.
However, this is not fully developed yet but there is a lot of work to do and improve it. Some things might go wrong, or potentially be snuffed out by bad technologies or compare interests.
Also one can see a lot of competition in the world of social media, who are trying to reinvent it. A few of them are Substack Notes and Artifacts which are building some closed platforms with their protocols.
Significance Of ActivityPub
ActivityPub is quite significant in the world of the internet because it aims to give full control to the users over their content and activities on various social media platforms. Users can now have the complete right to choose what type of content they would like to see or interact with, unlike now where the social media company decides what users should see or interact with.
The reason why ActivityPUb is quite important is that it follows the principles of decentralization to design a social media application.
Here users can get full control of their content and interactions rather than having a central authority controlling their activities and content. Moreover, this also gives the freedom to users to choose the type of content and move it to a different platform without worrying about losing the data.
Talking about its design, it is quite interoperable, which means that any user can connect to different social media platforms.
One of the key differences between the traditional social media platforms and ActivityPub is that, in the current scenario, users are confined to only one single platform and cannot connect to the other platforms.
But with ActivityPub, users can easily connect with various other social media platforms because every platform is interconnected with each other.
Challenges Of Having A Platform Like ActivityPub
The decentralized social media platform looks quite appealing but there are a lot of challenges one can face while implementing it.
- It is quite difficult for developers to make people understand the decentralized social media platforms and convince them to migrate to new platforms. Most of the decentralized platforms such as PeerTube and MAstodon are quite new and not more appealing than the Facebook and Twitter-like social media platforms as they lack several features.
- Next comes interoperability, Although protocols like ActivityPub allows users to interact with several other social media platforms, there are still some technical batteries that need to be overcome to create a seamless communication medium. Also, various platforms have their own set of rules and norms that can create friction and confusion among the users who are trying to interact cross-platform.
- Last but not least, Governance, is another challenge. As we know that decentralized platforms do not have any centralized authority, we need a mechanism to govern the social media platform. Mostly it can be done through governance but it is quite difficult to make decisions and implement changes. Moreover, it can also cause some disputes and challenges among the stakeholders.
Can ActivityPub Save The Internet?
One of the most heard questions is if ActvityPub can save the internet. Well, giving an apt answer now would be quite early, because the protocol is still in the development phase and it is constantly improving.
However, a lot of people believe that it can completely transform social media and the internet. And here are some reasons.
- Firstly, ActivityPub has great potential to democratize the social media network, as it aims to give more control to the interactions and own content. Also, it can help individuals to empower themselves and allow them to express themselves without any fear of censorship. This can lead to the birth of some new voices and their perspectives, which are often marginalized on social media platforms.
- Secondly, ActivityPub is a network of interconnected social media platforms that enables users to connect through different social media platforms. Unlike now, it breaks up the barrier between different social media platforms that works like isolated silos. It can be quite advantageous because it can help to create a more diverse and vibrant social media landscape with more and more innovation, collaborations, and opportunities.
- ActivityPub focuses more on the security and privacy of the users. Having a decentralized social media platform can reduce the power of centralized authorities to store user data and exploit them. By using platforms like ActivityPub, users can get more control over their data and prevent bad actors to exploit it.
Despite all these challenges we can expect a lot to happen in upcoming future using ActivityPub in the social media World.
The Emergence Of The Fediverse
If you are considering the ActivityPub to be the decentralized platform only, well then you are wrong. There are a lot of other protocols that aim to make the social media ecosystem more decentralized and interoperable. All these protocols together are referred to as the Fediverse.
The Fediverse is the network of various decentralized platforms that are built on top of ActivityPub. Also, these platforms are quite interoperable which means that they can connect to various other platforms. A few of the popular platforms in the Fediverse are Pixelfed, Peertube, and Mastodon.
With the emergence of Fediverse, it has become a future goal to say good-by to social media platforms that have dominated the world in the past few years. Unlike now, in the future people can connect to various platforms and do activities, and build their community.
The Fediverse ecosystem is not governed or controlled by any central authority, that gives control to the users on their interactions and their content. Moreover, they also have the complete freedom to choose the platform that they want to use. This overall reduces the control of big tech companies on user data and eliminates the monopoly in the world of the internet.
The Future Of Social Media
A lot of study and research is being going on, and it is quite uncertain to predict what the future would look like, but if we look at the current model of social media platforms it is not quite sustainable.
A lot of big tech companies control all the information and user data which has often led to privacy violations, political polarization, and much more.
Decentralized social media platforms like ActivityPub can be a great alternative as it gives complete rights to users to have control over their content and connect with various other social media platforms. Moreover, it also creates an open and democratic social media ecosystem.
Hoover, there are a lot of challenges that need to be overcome to give the existence of the decentralized social media ecosystem. With the launch of some decentralized social media platforms, it has been observed that a lot of people are quite excited to use such technology.
In the upcoming future, we can expect democratic, user-centric, and decentralized social media.
If we talk about the development of ActivityPub, it’s still in the early phases, and a lot more work needs to be done to make it reach its full potential.
Also, it helps design a social media platform which more interconnected, decentralized, and user-centric.
Overall it empowers the users by giving them full control over their content and activities on social media.
ActivityPub has the potential to design a more diverse and vibrant internet by democratizing the social media platform.
If you are excited about a new social media, you should watch its development that is going to happen in upcoming years that could also play a major role to shape the future of the internet.