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WordPress users can now easily integrate with the Fediverse, thanks to the new ActivityPub for WordPress plugin. Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com and other web publishing tools, recently acquired the plugin and hired its developer, Matthias Pfefferle, to work for the company.

The plugin enables WordPress.org and WordPress.com blog owners to connect with readers on federated platforms like Mastodon, Pleroma, and HubZilla.

Once installed, readers can follow WordPress blogs on their preferred federated platform, view the blog posts, and reply with comments. Replies posted to a federated site become blog post comments, creating a seamless integration between platforms.

Why this plugin?

The plugin supports threaded comments and other improvements for WordPress integration. It has already been downloaded over 35,000 times and supports Mastodon, Pleroma, Friendica, HubZilla, Pixelfed, SocialHome, and Misskey.

By bringing the developer in-house, Automattic aims to improve the plugin’s functionality over time and test it for potential major changes to the platform.

Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg has been bullish on the potential of the Fediverse, a decentralized web powered by interconnected servers running open-source applications. He sees potential for WordPress.com to expand its reach and support for other protocols like Nostr and Bluesky.

Building the Fediverse

Mullenweg notes that the company has not been directly impacted by the SVB crisis and has contacted various companies and partners with offers to help. The acquisition of the ActivityPub for WordPress plugin is just one of many moves by publishers to embrace the Fediverse.

Medium recently announced its own Mastodon server and integration with ActivityPub. At the same time, Flipboard launched its own instance on flipboard.social and integrated with Mastodon to allow users to follow Mastodon updates in the Flipboard app.

Terms of the acquisition were kept a secret, but it was not a big purchase as the plugin was a small, one-person operation. Pfefferle will start with Automattic in April.

Also read: WordPress hit with two critical-severity vulnerabilities