Decentralized social networking may be the future, but in the meantime, there are plenty of Twitter alternatives to keep up with. A new app called Yup aims to help by offering a place to read feeds, follow friends on services, and cross-post to various social apps, including Twitter / X itself, as well as Bluesky, Farcaster, Lens, and Threads – even if it comes later. with a GREAT caveat.
Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced last month that a Threads API is in the works, which will allow developers to create apps that connect to the Threads ecosystem. However, that API is not yet publicly available, which means Yup has a workaround to support Threads.
The company told TechCrunch that the app “informally uses the internal API” used by the Threads web client, but it plans to migrate to the official API when one is released. Because of this type of hack, being able to use Threads through Yup means turning off Instagram’s two-factor authentication (2FA) — an additional way to secure your access to the app through a login code sent via text or an authentication app. Created by TechCrunch not it is recommended that you disable 2FAalthough an app for cross-posting to Threads, Twitter, and Bluesky was much requested.
That said, we still think it’s amazing to comment on the launch of Yup, as an example of how the social app ecosystem has been disrupted after Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, now called X. In the months Since then, new Twitter rivals have emerged. and grew, including the open source decentralized platform Mastodon and Threads, which promises to integrate with the ActivityPub protocol that powers Mastodon and a wider ‘fediverse’ of decentralized social apps.
But those aren’t the only efforts being focused on rebuilding the social web. Competing protocols, such as decentralized protocols Farcaster and the web3-powered lensalso on the run, like AT Protocol from Bluesky.
At launch, even Yup itself didn’t support the entire social app ecosystem. Mastodon is as lost as ever Nostrthe decentralized protocol powering apps like Damus and others, favored by Twitter co-founder and former CEO, now Block CEO, Jack Dorsey.
Yup says it is exploring adding support for the service in the future. However, currently, the cross-posting app supports Twitter/X, Bluesky, Farcaster, Threads, and Lens.
“What we realized is that one of the advantages of these new open social networks, like Bluesky, is how interoperable they are with each other and kind of ‘aggregatable’ and ‘consolidatable’ all as a product to the consumer,” explained Kabessa. “And not only will that allow users to have a more powerful kind of unified experience, where all their friends are in one place, even though these platforms are very new, but it also allows them to build their social graphs on other platforms and protocols while continuing to use things as they are used to,” he added.
The team believes that Yup can serve as a tool that allows consumers and creators to build their audiences across platforms by cross-posting and participating in open protocols, while maintaining their presence in more major social apps like Twitter/X.
However, Yup’s support for X requires paying $5,000 per month in API fees. The company is funding this investment from a $3.5 million seed round it raised a little under two years ago. That round was led by Distributed Global with Dapper Labs (producer of CryptoKitties) and other angels, including Miramax CEO Bill Block and BitClout founder Nader al-Naji, also participated.
Yup previously focused on a variety of projects around ratings and rewards, but pivoted to social app aggregation about a year and a half ago, we were told.
Although some tools allow consumers to cross-post to multiple social sites, such as Fedica which supports X, Mastodon, and Bluesky, among others, there aren’t many cross-posting tools available for X and Threads and a wider range of consumer-oriented decentralized apps. (Actually, we’re not sure when Yup will be allowed to operate due to its support for Threads, but the company noted that it hasn’t gotten any pushback from Instagram yet. App Store and Google Playfor what it’s worth.)
As for the Yup app itself, the experience is as you would expect. After connecting your accounts, you can toggle which apps you want to post from the main “compose” screen.
Yup also supports features such as search (for people, posts, and bookmarks); notifications from your apps; and various feeds, including an algorithmic “For You” feed, a Following feed, and those dedicated to topics such as web3, AI, NFT, music, podcasts, videos, and more. The app offers a custom chronological feed for each platform, as well. In tests, however, we couldn’t get some of these feeds to update regularly, even when we connected our accounts. For that reason, we cannot recommend Yup as a dedicated browsing app.
There are other areas that will present a challenge for Yup to continue, too – such as mentioning or quoting posts from one platform to another. A lot of work needs to be done to make this a fully functional app for anything beyond cross-post, we think.
However, the fact that such an app as Yup appeared at all is an indication of where we are today with many protocols competing for a decentralized social web. That doesn’t make things any easier for consumers looking to move away from Big Tech companies or for developers — it makes things more fractured and more confusing. A decentralized social web is great in theory but not when there are half a dozen protocols that don’t interoperate. Hopefully, some kind of consensus will eventually be reached.
In the meantime, we believe, there is Yup.
Currently, the app is free to use. A future version may offer a paid subscription to support its costs in the future.