Social magazine app Flipboard has committed to participating in the ‘fediverse’ — the decentralized social web, which includes apps such as mastodon. Now, it is doubling down on ambitions with an announcement that it will stop tweeting while also launching a new podcast dedicated to exploring the topic of decentralized social media.
The company confirmed today that Flipboard will suspend its activity on Twitter/X as it focuses more on the decentralized social web.
“While we are happy to connect with many of our community members there, we believe it is important to align our social presence with platforms that share our values for promoting reliable journalism, expert voices, and quality information,” Flipboard announced in a statement. “This is one of the reasons we moved away from Twitter/X and invested our energy in Mastodon and other open social platforms. We maintain our accounts, and sometimes use them to retweet our creators and curators, but do not actively monitor or post updates on X.
Flipboards community and ‘s support Teams will be active on Mastodon, after these changes. It only plans to keep X accounts active to protect its brand. (X used to be soliciting buyers for dormant usernames.)
In contributing to its decision, Flipboard also cited X’s rollback of moderation policies, which led to “an increase in offensive rhetoric and hate speech,” it said, and other platform decisions that -growth of “false narratives and disinformation.”
The company says these kinds of changes are against its values, so it’s moving to a decentralized social web instead.
Flipboard is one of the tech companies to embrace decentralized social media after Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. Of course, Flipboard itself was hurt by Musk’s changes, as Twitter cut developers off from its API and raised prices for others, making it impossible for many to continue working with the company. .
But Flipboard not only moved its Twitter integration to Mastodon and Bluesky, it also set up a Mastodon server (or for example, in fediverse lingo) and an online community, and committed to integrating its app with ActivityPub, the protocol that powers Mastodon and other decentralized social apps. It also began curating the fediverse with editorial “tables” aimed at improving Mastodon news and discovery.
Starting today, Flipboard CEO Mike McCue is diving deeper into the world of fediverse with a new podcast, “Dot Social.” The podcast aims to explore the social, cultural, and technical aspects of the decentralized social web, the company told TechCrunch.
Dot Social’s guest lineup includes Techdirt founder and editor Mike Masnick; Mitchell Baker, CEO of Mozilla and chairwoman of the Mozilla Foundation; Medium CEO Tony Stubblebine, whose company also launched its own example of Mastodon; Evan Prodromou, a key contributor to the ActivityPub protocol used in decentralized social networks; Ian Forrester, who is one of the leaders of BBC R&D’s experimental move into the fediverse with a Mastodon server in social.bbc; Wired co-founder and author John Battelle; and Tim Chambers, co-founder of Dewey Digital and creator of the X/Twitter Migration report.
Before founding Flipboard, serial entrepreneur McCue co-founded voice-recognition software TellMe Networks, which was sold to Microsoft in 2007. He also served on Twitter’s Board of Directors between 2010 and 2012, and was a vice president of technology at Netscape.
After founding Flipboard in 2010, the company focused on developing its social magazine app and, more recently, how it connected its app to the fediverse by integrating ActivityPub and running an online community. as a home to its creators. McCue, who has been active in fediverse discussions of late, believes a business model for fediverse will emerge over time. Meanwhile, Flipboard aims to use its experience curating the web as it transitions to decentralized social media.
Flipboard isn’t the only tech company to embrace Mastodon. In addition to Medium, Automattic brings WordPress blogs to fediverse, and is considering doing the same for Tumblr. Mozilla is also betting on a decentralized social networking future, and is financially supporting Mastodon’s client Mammoth. Instagram’s Twitter/X rival Threads also says it will integrate with ActivityPub in the future.