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Threads on Mastodon and The Bright Future of the Fediverse

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the author's experience of integrating their Threads feed with Mastodon, a decentralized social media platform, and their exploration of various Mastodon clients to enhance their social media experience.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Threads on Mastodon and The Bright Future of the Fediverse

1. What was the author's initial experiment with integrating Threads and Mastodon? The author's initial experiment was to follow Threads users who had opted-in to Fediverse integration on their Mastodon account, in order to see how their Threads feed would look on Mastodon.

2. What were the author's key observations about the Threads experience?

  • The Threads app always defaults to the "For You" feed, and the chronological feed is not useful as it skips posts without explanation and lacks replies/conversations.
  • There are no lists, which the author finds very useful for making sense of the chronological feed.
  • The limited developer API means there will be no third-party clients or augmentations of the Threads feed.

3. What were the known limitations of the initial Threads-Mastodon integration?

  • Threads users cannot interact with Mastodon comments or see them in Threads.
  • Threads users cannot follow back Mastodon accounts that follow them.
  • Likes from Mastodon are not counted towards the Threads like count.
  • Only a small percentage (12%) of the author's Threads follow list was captured in the initial integration.

[02] Organizing the Chaos and Finding the Right Client

1. How did the author organize their Threads and Mastodon experience? The author:

  • Moved all their Threads follows into a separate list on Mastodon to keep their main feed clean.
  • Used the advanced Mastodon UI to create a real-time multi-column feed.
  • Utilized Mastodon lists to focus on specific topics and moods.

2. What were the author's main issues with the default Mastodon experience?

  • The UI is utility-first, design second, which was unsatisfying coming from the polished Threads experience.
  • Threads and conversations are not grouped together, making it harder to follow context.

3. How did the author search for and evaluate Mastodon clients? The author looked for clients that provided:

  • A prettier UI
  • A real-time feed
  • Better feed grouping
  • An easy way to catch up on missed content

The author tried several clients like Elk, Moshidon, and Focus, but ultimately found Phanpy to be the best fit.

[03] Phanpy - The Ideal Mastodon Client

1. What features of Phanpy did the author find most compelling?

  • Phanpy can be as simple or complex as the user wants, with options for single feeds or multi-column real-time feeds.
  • It groups conversations and threads together, making the chronological feed easier to follow.
  • It has a "Catch Up" feature that organizes missed posts in a more manageable way.

2. What were the limitations of Phanpy that the author noted?

  • Phanpy re-organizes the feed chronologically, so Threads posts may not always appear in the correct order relative to Mastodon posts.
  • Phanpy does not sync preferences across devices, so the setup needs to be done on each device.

3. What are the author's thoughts on potentially leaving Threads for Mastodon after the full federation is complete? The author is hesitant to leave Threads completely, as they have made many friends there and are not sure if everyone will opt-in to the Fediverse integration. However, the author is heavily leaning towards using Phanpy on Mastodon as their long-term solution, as it provides a better experience than the default Threads and Mastodon offerings.

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