Pixelfed, the fediverse’s answer to Instagram and other photo-sharing services, has been seriously stepping up its game over the past few months. The lead developer, Dansup, has been extremely forthcoming with teasers for new features in development, along with announcements regarding when they’re officially available.
This one’s admittedly been live for a while now, but it’s honestly so good that it bears being called out. The new Compose UI for Pixelfed is fantastic, and can directly compete with services such as Instagram. Better yet, this works great on mobile web browsers!
Although the Discovery page and Instance-defined topics have been around for at least a few releases now, the feature has been visually polished to a shine. Now, it’s easier than ever to dive into a denoted subject and see what other people have pushed to it.
Each topic can have a dedicated graphic and header color, along with associated hashtags to group things together.
Pixelfed now allows users to embed their posts into other websites. Right now, users will need to directly use embed codes, and will only be able to embed public posts with no Content Warnings enabled. The lead developer is interested in supporting CWs along with collections.
There’s a boatload of exciting new features in the development pipeline. The following have been lifted from Pixelfed’s official Mastodon account, and most of these are due for an impending major release, possibly
One very exciting feature offers Instagram users the opportunity to migrate their photos directly into Pixelfed. Imported posts will need to be approved by the uploader once the process is complete, and the resulting posts won’t show up in timelines. Imported posts can still be federated, though, so if someone wants to interact with something you’ve imported, they absolutely can do that.
Metro ships as the default UI for Pixelfed, and historically has served as a visual analogue to Instagram’s own timeline-based interface. The new Metro is more polished, more streamlined, and allows users to leverage a grid-based timeline to access more pictures at once.
Opt-In Profile Directory
The Discovery problem is a tough nut to crack for federated platforms. One way that Pixelfed is trying to address this is to offer an opt-in feature that allows users to be listed in a Pixelfed directory. It’s not yet clear whether the directory is strictly local or includes accounts from connected instances, but this could go a long way towards connecting users on the platform.
Community Guidelines & Moderation Tools
Moderation tools and Community Guidelines have had a growing importance in the fediverse over the past few years, and an increasing amount of platforms have been pursuing ways to build in such features in a sensible and useful way.
Pixelfed will soon ship with a new Moderation user role, an improved dashboard for content moderation, and an accessible way to write and update the community guidelines for a given instance. In addition, users will be able to see whether their posts have been changed by an instance’s moderation team.
Dedicated App / Developer API
Supposedly, a dedicated app is in the works, but there aren’t a log of details regarding its development yet. All we know is that it’s officially an initiative of the project, and that the Developer API is stabilizing.
Stories is, admittedly, the feature we know about the least right now. Supposedly, Stories will federate with other Pixelfed instances, and any other fediverse platform capable of supporting the Stories activity type.
All in all, these are some super exciting developments for the platform. If you want to support the Pixelfed creator, check out the links below!
- Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/dansup
- LiberaPay: https://liberapay.com/pixelfed
- PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/dansup