What Does It Mean to Federate Your Flipboard Profile?

For one, it brings your expertise and curation to a whole new ecosystem.

Flipboard
Fedi Curious?

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Recently, I got my Flipboard profile federated. It’s been fun to try out, and the prospect of reaching a new audience has made me want to be a better steward of the topics I share about. I hope my exploration of the how and why will help you find your footing in the fediverse and prepare for what lies ahead.

But first: what’s the fediverse?!

Of course, it’s important to understand what the fediverse is in the first place. The word is a blend of “federation” and “universe.” It refers to a network of open-source social networks, like Threads, Mastodon, and Pixelfed, that are interconnected yet independent.

When you’re part of the fediverse, it doesn’t matter which platform you share to; the posts get distributed to the whole ecosystem. However, since the fediverse is decentralized, there isn’t one company that owns your data, sets the rules, or keeps your followers within a walled garden.

The promise of the fediverse is greater quality, control and community. It’s worth exploring.

What it means to be federated

Next, let’s talk about what it means to “federate a Flipboard profile.” In the simplest terms, it means that whatever I curate (aka share) on Flipboard will be “syndicated” out to the fediverse with no extra effort.

What a Flipboard profile looks like on Flipboard (left) and Mastodon (right)

Please note: Only stories shared into Magazines are syndicated to the fediverse. If you have access to our private Storyboard tool, those collections must be flipped (added) to a Magazine first to be discovered in the fediverse.

Let’s see this in action: Just like on Flipboard, in the fediverse people can now follow my whole profile and get everything I’m sharing in their home feed, or they can follow whichever of my Magazines aligns with their interests. I curate about music, collage, what I’m reading, and many other subjects, including a Magazine for my Substack newsletter. Here’s my Art Inspiration Magazine:

Now that I’m federated, people using many different fediverse platforms, independent of Flipboard, can find the stories I’m sharing on Flipboard and follow me or my individual Magazines. (Note that follow counts are different from Flipboard when looking at my profile and Magazines in the fediverse.)

Enabling post discovery in the fediverse

This kind of effortless distribution will be a boon for discovery and community. There are many reasons why creators, brands and others should take note.

You can help your posts get discovered by adding engaging captions and hashtags when you share into a Flipboard Magazine. Hashtags are really important in making sure people interested in similar topics can discover your posts.

Using hashtags on Flipboard helps the post get seen in the fediverse.

By tagging this flip with #art in the caption when sharing into my Art Inspiration Flipboard Magazine, I ensured that the post also surfaced within the #art feed in the fediverse, which has 1.9K followers. The scale of the fediverse is still modest, but with Meta’s Threads federating, the ecosystem should expand quickly, with more people, content and conversations than ever before.

Bringing your expertise and curation to the fediverse

Which brings me to the unique value proposition of having your Flipboard profile federated. Flipboard is, and has always been, your place for curated news around your interests — that doesn’t change in the fediverse. As with traditional social media, in the fediverse, each platform has its own speciality. Mastodon and Threads are for microblogging (but attract different audiences), Pixelfed is for imagery, PeerTube is for video, and Flipboard is for curation.

While other platforms are conversation-first — you start with a thought or a comment — most Flipboard posts lead with content. A story, video or podcast sparks a desire to share. A lot of the time, you’re OK with the piece speaking for itself. Sometimes you may add short commentary. Either way, you’re saying “This, my friends, is worth a look 👀.”

With a federated Flipboard profile, you have an early stake in an ecosystem where your curation can find new communities who share your passion and would benefit from your expertise and tip-top taste.

“But I already have an account in the fediverse!”

Your federated Flipboard profile and followable Magazines are just another way that people can find and discover the stories you curate and what you’re interested in.

If you continue to share from another account in the fediverse, great. I use this account for personal musings and conversations, and my Flipboard federated profile is more like a peek into what I’m reading and sharing. You do you. A federated Flipboard profile just gives you more options.

Mia Quagliarello, head of creator community, is curating The Muse on creativity and inspiration

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

Developers may be interested in checking out the flipboard.team WriteFreely instance, where the larger fediverse community can learn about how Flipboard engineers are thinking about building in this space.

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

Got questions about the fediverse? Let us know! We’re writing a biweekly newsletter on LinkedIn or follow us here on Medium to never miss a post.

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Flipboard
Fedi Curious?

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