Pleroma, a lightweight social server written in Elixir, gains ActivityPub support

Pleroma, the lightweight elixir-based social networking server, recently unveiled full support for the ActivityPub federation protocol. In the developer’s own words:

Pleroma is a bit special when it comes to ActivityPub. When I started it nearly a year ago, I wanted to experiment with PostgreSQL’s jsonb data type. This allows you to use PostgreSQL to store arbitrary json, but still have the nice SQL features like indexes, full text search and so on. Because of this, Pleroma has internally been ActivtyPub since the beginning. AP activities are actually saved as json in the database.

What does this mean? Ultimately, Pleroma is able to federate with Mastodon fully with just the ActivityPub protocol. Previously, Pleroma only ran OStatus, meaning that it could only share public statuses and likes with Mastodon.

An instance of Pleroma, customized with candy-coated goodness. (credit to Sathy, who runs the instance)

Now, both systems are now able to exchange private messages with one another, and it’s even possible to run Mastodon’s interface on top, and Mastodon’s mobile apps can connect to it, too.

I’ll be performing a deep-dive of Pleroma in the near future. Right now, all I can say is that I’m excited about it.

Sean Tilley

Sean Tilley has been a part of the federated social web for over 15+ years, starting with his experiences with back in 2008. Sean was involved with the Diaspora project as a Community Manager from 2011 to 2013, and helped the project move to a self-governed model. Since then, Sean has continued to study, discuss, and document the evolution of the space and the new platforms that have risen within it.

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