What is the Fediverse anyway?
The Fediverse is a group of different software platforms (websites) that talk to each other. Here’s a good introductory video. It’s a union of self-governing websites. The most popular platform is Mastodon, but there are lots of different Mastodon servers that all talk to each other. Pretty much all of the different Fediverse servers are different varieties of social media.
Here are some of them:
- Mastodon—the one with all the name recognition. It’s for microblogging. The Fediverse’s answer or response to Twitter.
- FireFish—another microblogging platform. Used to be called Calckey. Here’s a small bit on it.
- Pixelfed—this one is for sharing pictures. Think Instagram.
- PeerTube—for sharing videos. Like YouTube.
- Kbin—link aggregator. Like Reddit.
- Lemmy—another link aggregator.
There are others for book clubs, music servers, stuff like facebook, etc.
Since they’re all federated, they all talk to each other. This means that you can follow someone’s PeerTube account on Mastodon; you’ll see their new videos show up on your Mastodon feed.
A very important feature of the Fediverse is that it’s not owned by one company. Recently Elon Musk bought Twitter (2022), and has been having a ball playing around and changing things. This hasn’t been very good for the people who use Twitter, or Twitter’s employees. But he can’t buy the Fediverse; no one can. He could buy a server, or even a few. But the rest of the Fediverse would continue on as before.
Each Mastodon website, PeerTube website, Pixelfed, FireFish, WriteFreely, GoToSocial, etc. is totally independent. Each is run by a different person or group of people, with different rules and target audience. And they all talk together, sharing information, posts, and so on. This is why it can’t be bought by a company. There are companies on the Fediverse, running their own instances.