Embrace, extend, enshittify

Meta launched Threads and it'll support ActivityPub soon. You should federate with the app since, well, all your posts are accessible to them anyways should they make the effort to obtain them. Your posts are about as private as entries in an RSS feed.

Threads' promised embrace of ActivityPub feels akin to a pattern of behavior Meta's engaged in in the past by cloning Snapchat's stories, offering reels as a TikTok alternative or buying Instagram in the first place. If you can't beat them join them, copy them or tip your hat to the moment in exchange for some less than negative press.[1]

They can drop ActivityPub support as soon as it's inconvenient (it doesn't support features they think it needs, it's too much of a maintenance burden etc.). They can even hop to the tail end of the enshittification curve by extracting value from an open platform that they don't control and provides value to users that they haven't extracted yet.

Their most likely target/opportunity here, however, is an extraordinarily poorly run Twitter and the critical mass of folks looking for a centralized room for everyone to congregate in.

This isn't about Mastodon, it's not about the fediverse. It's an opportunity for an objectively gross company to exploit instability in a niche of the social media space by leveraging their scale and engineering competency. If it doesn't work out, they'll sunset the app and, if ActivityPub or the fediverse ends up being a casualty of the whole exercise, I seriously doubt they'll care.

  1. They don't care about your posts, they just want to serve you ads. ↩︎


  • Markus :prami:
Cory Dransfeldt
Cory Dransfeldt

I'm a software developer in Camarillo, California. I enjoy hanging out with my beautiful family and 4 rescue dogs, technology, automation, music, writing, reading and tv and movies.