Pixelfed, the federated image-sharing platform, has been developing an alternative interface for the last few months. The resulting product comes across as an extremely attractive blend of the best elements from Tumblr and Instagram. While it hasn’t officially been released on the flagship instance, the project’s creator has offered a plethora of screenshots and animations detailing what the experience will be like. Here’s everything we know so far.
1. Micro will support long-form statuses
Part of the new design aesthetic that comes with Micro is the deliberately Tumblresque interface, which supports four post types out of the box: text, photos, videos, and audio.
One particularly interesting possibility here is that this may create inroads for various fediverse platforms to federate with systems that don’t provide just statuses, such as PeerTube and Funkwhale. While nothing is set in stone there, the PixelFed creator has expressed some interest in federating with both platforms in the past.
2. It won’t be the default frontend
Micro is designed to cater to a specific experience that differs from the Instagram-like UI that Pixelfed ships with. Treated largely as an experimental design project, Micro instead emphasizes multiple post types beyond just images. Still, the creator of Pixelfed has emphasized that the photo-sharing UI is intended to be the primary core experience for the platform.
3. The version that ships with Pixelfed won’t initially support text-only statuses
Dansup recently communicated that a lot of refactoring needs to be done for Pixelfed to support text-only statuses. By default, Micro UI for Pixelfed won’t support text statuses in the beginning, but it will be supported for Pleroma and Mastodon.
4. It won’t just be limited to Pixelfed
A recent announcement indicates that Micro will be spun off as an independent Pixelfed Labs project, and will be provided as an alternative UI compatible with Mastodon and Pleroma. This is very much in line with other alternative fediverse web clients, such as Pinafore and Halcyon, which do not specifically ship with an underlying backend.
All in all, we’re really excited about these new developments, and can’t wait to see