Flipboard extends Mastodon support to its Android application

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Magazine app Flipboard integrates Mastodon into its Android application as the company broadens its commitment to the federated social web. Flipboard CEO Mike McCue will also be demonstrating the app’s new Mastodon support during a session this morning at FediForum, an online event dedicated to discussions about the challenges facing the Fediverse – the group of interconnected servers that run a range of open source , powering decentralized applications, including the newly popular Twitter alternative Mastodon.

Last month, Flipboard first announced it was joining Fediverse with plans to integrate with Mastodon, launch its own Mastodon instance flipboard.social, and later add support for ActivityPub – the protocol that powers Fediverse apps like Mastodon , which has benefited from the chaos surrounding Twitter following the Elon Musk acquisition. Following the announcement, Flipboard’s Mastodon community now has about 500 active members who have created an account to participate in the decentralized social platform.

Additionally, Flipboard is rolling out support for Mastodon in its own app, allowing users to browse a feed of short updates from the people they follow, reply to, like, and promote posts, as well as click hashtags to follow discussions, among other things. In part, the integration is intended to plug a potential hole in Flipboard’s server if and when Twitter API access stops working. That’s a heightened concern among Musk’s Twitter management, as the company removed API access from a number of apps overnight without warning and recently changed pricing, making it out of reach for many developers.

However, Flipboard’s Mastodon integration was originally iOS-only. Today, Android support is now available as well.

Just like on the iPhone, Android users can now find the new feature by navigating the account section and then logging in with their Mastodon credentials for the instance they’re on. And if the user doesn’t already have a Mastodon account, they can request access to join Flipboard’s own server from here.

Image Credits: Flip board

Following the Mastodon integration rollout, Flipboard added functionality that allows users to follow other people, hashtags, or feeds directly from the Flipboard app, and added the latest Mastodon posts to Flipboard users’ For You feed. It also made it possible for users to access their Mastodon bookmarks and @mentions from within the app and add them to the list of followed items on Flipboard.

Combined, these features make Mastodon a bigger part of the Flipboard experience. While it’s not as robust as some other clients like Tapbots’ Ivory or Mozilla-backed Mammoth, it’s possible to browse and use Mastodon via Flipboard – which might be enough for more casual users.

Perhaps just as important is the company’s increased involvement in the federated social web, including active participation in the ongoing conversations about the future of decentralization. For example, the event where McCue spoke today – FediForum – is a small, online “unconference” where ideas are discussed and shared. As noted during the closing on day one, other non-ActivityPub projects were invited to participate, such as Bluesky, backed by Jack Dorsey, but declined.

“We strongly believe in the innovation and growth of the Fediverse. As more apps and platforms embrace federated social networks like Mastodon, this ecosystem will increasingly become a viable alternative to today’s ‘walled garden’ social media networks,” said McCue. “Our current integration with Mastodon provides a glimpse of how the ActivityPub protocol can lead to more connected services and expansion of the Fediverse.”

Flipboard’s embrace of the Fediverse follows a similar announcement from blogging platform Medium, which recently launched its own Mastodon community for its authors. Other companies that have weighed in on various Fediverse integrations include Tumblr and Flickr, both of which have also discussed adding support for ActivityPub. WordPress.com owner Automattic (who also owns Tumblr) bought an ActivityPub plugin earlier this month to allow blogs to join Fediverse.

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