Last Week in Fediverse – ep 67

Last Week in Fediverse – ep 67

People are interested in bridges between Bluesky and the fediverse, it turns out: Bridgy Fed quietly launched in test mode for a few people to try, but already 1200 accounts have signed up when they found out about it, without any announcement. Some interesting news about plugins as well this week, for both PeerTube and Lemmy. Let’s dive in:

Bluesky and fediverse bridge silently launches

Bridgy Fed, the bridge between the fediverse by Ryan Barrett, is now publicly available for testing. The bridge quietly became available for people to test, but as bridged posts started to appear, other people became aware and more and more people started to test and use the bridge. Barrett states that already 1200 accounts have bridged in one or both directions. Some 750 of those accounts have made their fediverse account visible in Bluesky, which can be tracked via a directory made by Kuba Suder. Barrett also says that the bridge is still in a very early state, that he was not expecting so much attention so quickly, and that users should still expect plenty of bugs and downtime.

When the bridge was first announced, it lead to a storm of protest within the fediverse. Many people felt uncomfortable that the bridge was opt-out and not opt-in, and did not want that their public fediverse posts became available in Bluesky. Barrett has listened to the feedback, and the entire system is now opt-in. In order to make your fediverse account available in Bluesky, you’ll have to follow this account. For your Bluesky account to become visible in the fediverse you can follow this account. It might take a few minutes before your account becomes visible. Barrett also says that “much of the current state is not final. Expect some design and policy choices to change. For example, right now you have to manually enable the bridge, but that may change eventually, at least for Bluesky accounts bridging into the fediverse.”

The News

A variety of news from the side of PeerTube: PeerTube released version 6.1, with new features such as account import/export, banners and avatars for instances, and a change in the way PeerTube counts a view. Now, more in line with other platforms, someone has to watch a video for 10 seconds to count as a view, down from 30. Counting is also done based on a unique ID generated by a web browser, instead of an IP address. PeerTube has a plugin system, with two new interesting plugins this week that are being worked on:

  • The Premium user plugin allows videos to be limited to be viewed only by paying accounts, with an integration with Stripe.
  • A subtitle editor plugin which allows creators to add subtitles or captions without having to use external software.

Finally, WeDistribute wrote a guide this week on how to stream with PeerTube and Owncast.

Discourse and WordPress are now directly federating with each other. This means that a forum category on Discourse can follow a WordPress blog, and the blogs on WordPress will appear as new posts in the Discourse Forum category. Demo is available here, and as of this week’s episode, my newsletter should also appear on the ActivityPub Social Hub forums. In general there is a lot of activity happening with interoperability between Lemmy, WordPress, NodeBB and Discourse. They are all focusing more on long-form writing, and the Working Group‘s meeting of this week spend quite some effort on improving how these different platforms for ‘Forums and Threaded Discussions’ can federate. Lemmy is also working on federating directly with NodeBB, and it’ll be interesting to see what that looks like in practice.

Newsmast announces that they have been working on a new feature to extend their Mastodon servers, Amplifier. With Amplifier come two major new features to Newsmast: The ability for individual accounts on the server to opt-in or opt-out of posts from Bluesky and Threads, and a feature to scroll back through time similar to Phanpy’s excellent Catch-up feature. With bridging becoming more prominent, it makes sense to have the feature clearly available as a setting to people, and I’m curious to see how they will implement it. Newsmast has not shared yet when Amplifier will be released.

Lemmy announces a Proof of Concept for a plugin system. The system is currently fairly basic, and developer nutomic says that he will not implement the system until it is clear that there is interest, and at least one plugin is in development. The responses do show that there is clear interest in such a system though, and it’s worth watching to see what comes of it.

Viverse, the metaverse platform of HTC, has joined the fediverse. Viverse allows you to visit 3d worlds directly in your browser. The fediverse integration means that you can now chat from your Viverse account with Mastodon accounts, the blog shows how this looks in practice. What stands out to me about the announcement is that the fediverse is becoming attractive for products to bootstrap their social network. Viverse does not appear to be particularly busy, the most visited ‘world’ is visited some 7000 times total, and adding fediverse integration is an interesting way to increase visibility.

Conversations on Mastodon forks are nothing new, but have popped up recently again, after some public pushback against some of the board members of Mastodon’s new U.S.-based non-profit organisation. Jon Pincus of The Nexus of Privacy makes a case for a hard fork in this article. Fediverse developer and Mastodon contributor Emelia Smith wrote a response on why she thinks a hard fork is not the way forward. Roland Pulliam, who works on the shared deny list project The Bad Space, announced a fork Awujo, but not much is known about the fork yet.

E2EE encryption might be coming to the fediverse: ActivityPub co-author Evan Prodromou got a grant from the Summer of Protocols Initiatives to add end-to-end encryption to the ActivityPub protocol, together with developer Tom Coates. WeDistribute has a closer look as well.

Tusks is a new iOS app for Mastodon with the goal of “makes posting on Mastodon feel like publishing to your blog”. It only shows your own posts, and focuses on helping you write posts, especially threads. Tusks is available iOS as well as the iPad and Mac, and the full product is $4.99.

For the people interested in protocols: A call to participate help the lead author of the original Webfinger RFC with improvements.

The Links

  • The DotSocial Podcast interviewed Ryan Barrett about building bridges to the fediverse.
  • Robert W. Gehl, who is currently writing a book about the fediverse, has a blog post about decentralisation vs noncentralisation, and Bluesky vs the fediverse.
  • A study on social media commissioned by the French government recommends that teenagers ” access only what it called “ethical” social media, such as Mastodon.
  • A video going over all the updates made to in recent weeks.
  • New updates on fediverse testing tool Fedify.
  • An update on FediTest.
  • An update on radiofreefedi.
  • Flipboard has a recap of their fediverse webinar for creators and curators.
  • This week’s overview of server, client and FEP updates.
  • Mastodon put out a short call for how to help with coding.
  • Bloost button.

That’s all for this week. If you want more, you can subscribe to my fediverse account or to the mailing list below:



Yay it worked!

Small issue with the title, (@angus ) but that seems pretty manageable


Interesting, Discourse recognised the link I made to this topic by showing the pingback in that thread:


Indeed. I received a notification (and then another one from your reply above):

Snapshot from my notifications list

1 Like

Nice job!

Fediverse bridge and E2EE encryption are critical features.

Repost Summary of fediversereport ep 67 to Fediverse in Threads.


Can I understand this bridge as something like an email-forwarding service – it converts format and forwards ActivityPub content to Bluesky?

Yes, and more. It (tries to) convert and deliver all interactions both directions, not just posts but follows, replies, likes, reposts, @-mentions, etc.

1 Like

Thanks. The reason I asked is I figured what’s stopping someone from reformatting and forwarding your email – opt-in / opt-out sounds like a courtesy in this case.