ActivityPub mentioned in the article
Honestly I think that they came to the public much earlier than expected because of the close of Twitter.
They wanted to capture the refugee flow from Twitter that was flooding to the Fediverse. But they have many developers and can make it up in terms of features in a short time. Their challenge now is to catch up with important features like Direct Messages (they did not ship it yet because they need to figure out the spying part of it, and will eventually come up with an encrypted version I’m sure), and EU release (which means: no shadow-accounts and full GDPR-compliance, which is their worst nightmare in a decentralized setting).
Quoting from the linked article:
To follow someone on Mastodon, you have to know their server and complete username (I’m @email@example.com.) On Threads, it’s as easy as typing in their Instagram handle. (I’m @crumbler.) It’s a small thing — but, I suspect, one that could make a big difference.
Indeed this could be influential. I can think of a way to make user search easier by harvesting the social graph and sorting by most verified alternate accounts and followership. This could have flaws, but for the time being, https://fedifinder.glitch.me/ seems to be an effective alternative for those coming from Twitter.
And the fact you must already have a contact with someone in order to be able to follow them is probably a feature anyway.
Where’s the money in all this for Meta? Likely ads, though as is typically the case when Meta launches a new product, it will be ad-free to start as the company explores whether it can attract enough users to make it a meaningful business opportunity.
I don’t think they would put ads in before long, because it would be so easy for people to move away from them. No, instead, they will use AI to swallow the value and digest it to marketers OOB: in shops, in the online press, to your insurance and bank…