Decentralized alternative to Instagram PixelFed launches new iOS app PixelFed, a federated social photo-sharing platform. It mimics the functionality of Instagram but is open source, privacy-focused, ad-free, decentralized, and gives full control to its users. PixelFed’s new iOS app hopes to divert iPhone users from Instagram to Meta’s popular image-sharing app.
Popular photo blogging service Instagram, owned by Meta (aka Facebook), is a closed platform that forces ads to run, tracks usage, and doesn’t collaborate with other social media outlets. Secure social networks like Instagram have led proponents of the open web to develop open-source alternatives that provide users with privacy, choice, and control. These solutions are often referred to as distributed or federated social networks, and most modern platforms use the ActivityPub protocol for cross-platform interoperability.
PixelFed is launching an iOS app to better compete with Instagram.
The most promising Instagram-like federated platform is pixelfed. It brings the best features of Instagram into an open source and decentralized application and in some cases improves them. The main features of PixelFed are:
The official PixelFed app for iOS is impressive even in public beta.
Although PixelFed has features and functionalities that are just as attractive as a web app, it struggled to gain widespread acceptance without a native iOS app. To solve this problem, the PixelFed team has spent the past few months working on a new iOS app for the iPhone. With this, they hope to better compete with Instagram and expand their user base. The iOS app is now available for beta testing through Apple’s TestFlight.
The iOS app has a feature that makes it easier to discover images and people using PixelFed. “The Discover feature uses local and remote posts known to the instance in question,” PixelFed founder and lead developer Daniel Sup told Coywolf. Sup said it was “working on a central Discover API and app functionality to improve this for all instances.” PixelFed’s profile on Mastodon also noted that “access to a curated collaborative discovery experience will benefit everyone, no matter how busy or how small your instance is.”
PixelFed has well-known tools for dealing with unwanted profiles and posts in a feed. For example, mute and blocking options are at your fingertips.
Users can also report spam and abuse. Sup told Coywolf that “notifications are sent to the local instance manager for processing.” This means that notifications are only seen by the person(s) managing the node with the notification account. And if an action is taken against a user, it applies only to that federated server. Because PixelFed is federated and supports the ActivityPub protocol, other social platforms that support ActivityPub, such as Mastodon, can follow profiles and respond to posts (Like, Reblog, and comment).
The easiest way to get started with PixelFed is to create an account on an existing node. But if you want full control over your PixelFed account, you can install and manage an instance yourself or use a fully managed hosting company like Spacebear. PixelFed supports importing Instagram accounts so Instagram users who want an open web alternative can migrate their images to PixelFed. PixelFed also supports exporting and importing accounts from one PixelFed instance to another.
If you like using PixelFed, you can support its development on Patreon.
Summary of news:
- PixelFed, Instagram’s alternative iOS app, is open source, privacy-focused, ad-free, and decentralized
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