Microblogging With ActivityPub & How Does it Work?

Microblogging with ActivityPub
  • ActivityPub is an open protocol for publishing and subscribing to activities, such as microblog posts, status updates, and chat messages.
  • According to a report by the W3C, there are over 100 ActivityPub-enabled platforms.

Microblogging is now a key part of our online conversations. It lets us quickly share thoughts and updates and concisely engage with others.

ActivityPub, beyond microblogging, powers various open-source alternatives for popular services. It promotes interoperability, but practical implementation varies among projects. 

The protocol enables servers to exchange Activity Streams, which encompass a range of content types like status updates, pages, images, or videos. 

While different objects share common fields like name and URL, not all software comprehends every object type, potentially leading to varied display outcomes.

Here’s where the whole thing begins.

What Is ActivityPub?

ActivityPub is an open protocol that facilitates decentralized social networking. It allows different social networking platforms to communicate and share content. 

ActivityPub’s emphasis on user privacy, data ownership, and interoperability between platforms makes it unique.

How Does ActivityPub Microblogging Work?

ActivityPub microblogging is based on federated social networks. Users aren’t tied to a single platform; they can pick from various ActivityPub-enabled microblogging servers (instances) to make accounts. 

Each instance sets its own rules and moderation policies, offering users more control.

When a user from one instance interacts with someone from another, ActivityPub ensures their actions reach the whole network. 

This lets you connect and engage with users from different instances, forming a diverse online community.

Features of ActivityPub Microblogs

  • Decentralization: ActivityPub microblogs are not controlled by a single corporation or entity, reducing the risk of censorship and ensuring data privacy.
  • Interoperability: Users on different instances can follow and interact with each other, fostering a sense of community beyond individual servers.
  • Data Ownership: Users have greater control over their data, as they can choose instances that align with their privacy preferences.
  • Customization: Each instance can have its own rules and moderation policies, allowing users to find a community that suits their interests.

Setting Up Your ActivityPub Microblog

  • Choose an Instance: Select an ActivityPub-enabled microblogging instance that aligns with your interests and privacy preferences. Some popular instances include Mastodon and Pleroma.
  • Create Your Account: Sign up for an account in your chosen instance. A username, email address, and password are usually required.
  • Profile Setup: Personalize your profile by including a photo, bio, and other pertinent information. This helps other users identify you and your interests.
  • Explore and Connect: Use the instance’s search and discovery features to find users and content that interest you. Begin following users and engaging with their posts.

Benefits of ActivityPub Microblogging

  • Privacy: ActivityPub microblogs prioritize user privacy by design, ensuring that your data remains under your control.
  • Community: With the federated nature of ActivityPub, you can connect with a diverse and global community of users who share your interests.
  • Customization: Choose an instance that aligns with your values and preferences, creating a tailored online experience.
  • No Ads or Algorithms: ActivityPub microblogs often lack intrusive ads and algorithms, providing a more authentic and chronological timeline of posts.


ActivityPub microblogging represents a promising alternative to traditional, centralized social media platforms. 

Its emphasis on decentralization, data ownership, and user privacy has resonated with users seeking a more personalized and community-driven online experience. 

By understanding how ActivityPub works and setting up your microblog on a trusted instance, you can become part of this growing movement and enjoy the benefits of a decentralized social network.

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