Sup is a New Messaging App by the Creator of Pixelfed

Daniel Supernault, creator of Pixelfed, announced recently that he’s working on a new messaging app called Sup. Details are sparse for the moment, as it’s a new initiative under Pixelfed’s umbrella. So far, a few interesting things have been revealed to us.

The biggest thing to note about the new messenger, by far, is that the developer intends to provide end-to-end encryption. More impressively, the app is intended to work with any Fediverse account.

sup. is an open source encrypted fediverse instant messenger, similar to whatsapp, made by pixelfed.

The beta will be launching later this month, and btw most fediverse accounts will work, not just Pixelfed 😉

— dansup (@dansup) 2023-08-05T11:38:40.670Z

The proposed encryption scheme is the Messaging Layer Security protocol, a proposed standard by the Internet Engineering Task Force. MLS is notable for the fact that it’s based on Signal, and makes use of their Double Rachet algorithm.

There are definitely some open questions about how Sup works with the rest of the Fediverse. Do users just sign in to a service via an OAuth dance with their Fediverse accounts? Do the messages federate over ActivityPub? Does my server store my messages, or does just the app store those?

For now, we don’t know the answers to these questions, and they’re important considerations. With that being said, we’re excited about this new project, and can’t wait to try it out!

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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  1. shvdexshay says:


  2. Jack Laurrii says:

    Huh, neat. If you’re curious about the authentication thing, look into how Pixelfed is doing it, he announced that Pixelfed would allow log in from a Mastodon account a few months ago, with the rest of the Fediverse to follow in the future.

  3. @news

    MLS is notable for the fact that it’s based on Signal, and makes use of their Double Rachet algorithm.

    That’s incorrect. MLS does not use Signal’s double ratchet. It uses a ratchet tree, which is very different.

  4. Sam says:

    If this works without requiring a phone number, is E2E encrypted, open-source and doesn’t have the meta-data tracking issues that existing messaging apps (all of which I’m guessing is the case given dansup is developing it) then I am TOTALLY IN! I’ve not owned a phone for more than a decade now but use Telegram on a tablet to keep in touch with friends. It’s totally not ideal but is the only solution that works well enough for now. I think this would also be a fantastic way of getting a lot of people not currently on it on the Fediverse. Sup Dan!

  5. LPS says:

    @news This sounds amazing! Would love to hear some updates on this.

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