Twitter is funding a small independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media. The goal is for Twitter to ultimately be a client of this standard. 🧵
Which to me just sounds like ActivityPub with extra steps. My immediate shitpost reaction was "Twitter's new servers will only federate with Gab and 4chan."
But to be serious a second:
- Mastodon.social has 423K users; 10% are "active". M.s is a social mess, really an open sewer; reading the Federation timeline on it with a LOT of filtering is unpleasant or impossible. Much of the content there is kind of unpleasant; it's more left-wing but just as bad as Twitter is. For a while, I had the instance blocked, but it interfered with me following & being followed by friends who live there. I'd like them to leave for a nicer suburb, but they won't yet.
- Pawoo.net has 590K users, but it's on the fringes of Fediverse and gets blocked or silenced by a lot for porn publishing. shrug
- Twitter has 330M users; probably 1% are "active", but that's still 3.3M users, 6x more than the biggest Mastodons. Every social problem of M.s is going to be vastly worse, and it'll need a fairly different software architecture than Mastodon or even Pleroma (which is more efficient, but we haven't seen any big Pleroma instances).
I think if Twitter does adopt ActivityPub, they'll need to split into a bunch of servers. Ideally they'd take a cue from GeoCities and have regional or interest-based servers, so there'd be california.twitter.com, paris.twitter.com, hongkong.twitter.com, hiking.twitter.com, apple.twitter.com, etc., and on a big naming day they'd make everyone pick their new home. Cap them at 100K or something sane. Then they could participate in Fediverse like everyone else.
More likely Twitter will be intensely boring and character-less, and name them 1.twitter.com, 2.twitter.com, etc., and have some hack where the front end routes users to their shard, there won't be a Local or Federated timeline at all, and they'll just wreck the Federated timeline with the Twitter firehose of shit.