A Guide to Flipboard Federation for Publishers

For media interested in effortlessly distributing content to the fediverse.

Fedi Curious?
5 min readJun 6, 2024


We’ve been gradually opening Flipboard to the fediverse, an emerging part of the Web built on a revolutionary open protocol called ActivityPub.

In this post, we’re going to cover what the fediverse is, what it means to have a federated Flipboard account, and how this new space can benefit publishers on Flipboard.

But first: what’s the fediverse?

To appreciate its benefits, it’s important to understand what the fediverse is. The word is a blend of “federation” and “universe.” It refers to a network (federation) of open-source social networks, like Mastodon, Threads, and now Flipboard, that are in one interconnected yet independent universe. When you’re part of the fediverse, it doesn’t matter which platform you share on; your posts get distributed to the whole ecosystem.

A common analogy is email. You can think of the fediverse as similar to email, where there are many different servers that host and exchange messages with each other and it doesn’t matter which email client you use.

Now, when you post a story on Flipboard and your Flipboard account is federated, it will also be visible in the fediverse ecosystem, meaning it can be discovered within hashtag feeds and searches. If a Mastodon user starts following your profile or Magazine, they’ll see your posts in their fediverse home feed. Like email — it just works — regardless of what service it was posted on or consumed on.

What does it mean to be federated?

Next, let’s talk about what it means to have a “federated Flipboard profile.” In the simplest terms, it means that whatever you share on Flipboard will be “syndicated” out to the fediverse with no extra effort, enabling people on Mastodon or Threads to discover and interact with your profile, Magazines and posts.

You can see this engagement in your Flipboard notifications panel (only available on iOS and Android), and traffic to your site will be reflected in your analytics dashboard (i.e., Google Analytics). For traffic from the fediverse, the referrer will be from services like Mastodon and Threads, not from Flipboard.

Which publisher accounts have been federated?

We’ve invited a select group of publishers to help us test this new experience, and we’ll continue to expand access to federation over the next few months. If you were selected to be part of our federation beta, you would have received a welcome email from the Flipboard team, and you will see Federation toggled on in your settings.

So, what does this all look like?

Just like on Flipboard, in the fediverse, people can follow your profile and get everything you share in their home feed, or they can follow any of your Magazines that align with their interests.

A few things to note:

  • Your profile description is the same as it is on Flipboard; if you want to change that, simply change your description on Flipboard (instructions here).
  • Your “Join” date is the day your account was federated, not the date you joined Flipboard, because this is the first day your profile became available in the fediverse.
  • Similarly, your follower count in the fediverse will start at zero because you are just now starting to grow an audience there. You’ll likely have significantly more followers on Flipboard because of your history with us. As we federate all of Flipboard, you may see these numbers align, but for the moment, they are unique.

We know you’re excited to see activity from the community, so you can view follows, likes, and replies in the notifications panel in the iOS or Android app. To see your follower count from the fediverse, tap Followers on your profile in the iOS or Android app to see the count. (Note: these features are not available on Flipboard.com.)

The importance of Flipboard Magazines as organizing principles

Flipboard Magazines are ongoing collections of curated stories around a theme. By organizing your content into Magazines, you’re also giving people in the fediverse more control over their experience with your work. For example, you might cover all kinds of sports, but someone may only be interested in basketball. That person can decide to follow your profile and see everything you publish, or just your basketball Magazine. And because algorithms don’t hold the same power in the fediverse, a reader who’s following you or your Magazines is more likely to get your content in their home feed.

Right now, Flipboard is the only way to organize your content into sub-categories in the fediverse. Because of this, we’re leaning into Magazine creation and distribution and recommend that you revisit your profile to make sure your Magazines look good with clear but clever names, a solid description, and bonus points for an attractive cover.

Our editorial team is constantly looking for best-in-class Magazines to amplify within the fediverse community, so make sure your Magazines follow all best practices for consideration.

Why bother with any of this?

We know, taking on a new social network can feel daunting, but the fediverse is potentially the One Ecosystem to Rule Them All, and is estimated to grow to 170M users by the end of 2024 There are many reasons why this open-source, interoperable environment is better for publishers, creators and communities overall. Here are a few.

  1. Increased reach: By federating with the fediverse, Flipboard publishers can use their Flipboard curation to connect with a wider audience beyond the platform, sharing their expertise and coverage with people across many networks.
  2. Diverse communities: The fediverse encompasses a variety of communities with different interests and perspectives. By joining the fediverse, Flipboard publishers and creators can tap into and engage with these groups, and tailor their content to suit unique audiences.
  3. Interoperability: Federated accounts in the fediverse can interact seamlessly with users on other federated platforms. This interoperability fosters greater collaboration, networking, and cross-promotion opportunities for Flipboard users.
  4. Community engagement: The fediverse often values community-driven content moderation and governance. By participating in this environment, Flipboard publishers and creators can engage more directly with their audiences, solicit feedback, and build stronger relationships with their followers.

Best practices for reaching new communities in the fediverse

The fediverse playbook is still being written, but we do already know that these tactics help publishers’ connect with new communities:

  • Use caption + hashtags when posting a story into a Magazine on Flipboard and the post will appear in corresponding topics in the fediverse
  • Participate in community hashtag trends like #Bookstodon, #BelieveinFilm and #TravelTuesday
  • If you have access to our private Storyboard tool, these collections must be added to a Magazine to be discovered in the fediverse
  • Copy your Flipboard federated handle and cross-promote it on other social networks
  • Add your Flipboard federated profile to your blog, newsletter, etc.

How to get your Flipboard account federated

If you’re interested in getting your Flipboard account federated, you can apply here. Please note: We are currently only federating active publishers on Flipboard that adhere to our community guidelines.

It is still very early days in this brave new world and we’re excited to be on this journey with our publisher partners.

We’ll see you in the fediverse!

To learn more about the fediverse from the leaders shaping its future, check out Mike McCue’s podcast, “Dot Social.”

To learn about what Flipboard’s up to in the fediverse, sign up here.



Fedi Curious?

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