Pleroma, a lightweight social server written in Elixir, gains ActivityPub support

Sean Tilley
Mar 13, 2018 · 2 min read
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ActivityPub output from Pleroma’s end.

Pleroma, the lightweight elixir-based social networking server, recently unveiled full support for the ActivityPub federation protocol. In the developer’s own words:

Pleroma is a bit special when it comes to ActivityPub. When I started it nearly a year ago, I wanted to experiment with PostgreSQL’s jsonb data type. This allows you to use PostgreSQL to store arbitrary json, but still have the nice SQL features like indexes, full text search and so on. Because of this, Pleroma has internally been ActivtyPub since the beginning. AP activities are actually saved as json in the database.

What does this mean? Ultimately, Pleroma is able to federate with Mastodon fully with just the ActivityPub protocol. Previously, Pleroma only ran OStatus, meaning that it could only share public statuses and likes with Mastodon.

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An instance of Pleroma, customized with candy-coated goodness. (credit to Sathy, who runs the instance)

Now, both systems are now able to exchange private messages with one another, and it’s even possible to run Mastodon’s interface on top, and Mastodon’s mobile apps can connect to it, too.

I’ll be performing a deep-dive of Pleroma in the near future. Right now, all I can say is that I’m excited about it.

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