Here are my thoughts on the Social app, which have been on my mind since it was first released some years ago.
Please note this is not a flame thread. Do not respond to this thread to rehash your frustration.
Please do respond if you have other points to discuss and flesh out!
I strongly support what Social might represent and want to give helpful thoughts and suggestions for future development… Social app does need a lot of development and the fediverse is a very rich environment which still lacks the sort of niche functionality Nextcloud offers.
Technically it is the federation itself (“fediverse”, currently built entirely around other, existing ActivityPub applications: Mastodon, Pleroma, PixelFed, Funkwhale, Hubzilla, Friendica, Peertube) which is actually providing these millions of users. Nextcloud has yet to truly join the platform with Social. See About the Federation below for details:
the-federation.info overview - 99 current projects spanning 15 protocols.
- Nextcloud Social (nodeinfo) can be added once support for the federation index is implemented.
About fediverse node list - from fediverse.party
- Nodeinfo · Issue #183 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
- Add Nextcloud to the-federation · Issue #187 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
My question is… how will Social best serve it’s purpose in a way that truly benefits the fediverse alongside the Nextcloud platform?
Let’s dive into it…
- Compatibility with 3rd party Mastodon apps
- Recommendations for who to follow · Issue #1078 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
- Distributed email based federated cloud id discovery · Issue #365 · nextcloud/server · GitHub
- Manage Remove accounts locally / better manage remote accounts
- Posting multiple images results in any except the first one to be broken · Issue #1079 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
- Remember scroll position in feed · Issue #360 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
- Add unread indicator for direct messages · Issue #162 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
- Ability to compose image descriptions
- Show link embeds in posts · Issue #107 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
- Pin post on profile · Issue #125 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
- Profile header image · Issue #119 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
I’m wondering a lot about this because currently the Social app (as of my most recent testing in the last alpha release) will automatically create an account. This is problematic, because accounts created are permanent, no different from using Twitter if it auto-generated an account for you based on your email address or similar… There is no way to ever remove any account you’ve created from the federation. With this in mind, I really hope an account creation wizard can be used instead of simply creating an account without user input.
- Handle is duplicated on user page if no display name is set · Issue #720 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
- User can edit ID and nick name
- Ability for the end-user to choose their username · Issue #738 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
- Possible change the username · Issue #806 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
- Use custom domain for Social · Issue #1049 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
- Remove domain from handles for local accounts · Issue #1077 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
- Notification on Mention
- Manage deleted user and delete their account · Issue #164 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
- UI: better display on /apps/social/@nonexistantuser · Issue #121 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
- Data import/export · Issue #118 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
Of course this app might break between major Nextcloud releases. I understand “it is what it is”, but I also wonder about the millions of people who already have existing federated accounts. Having a fediverse account is not so different from having your email account in addition to your Nextcloud. For the Nextcloud users who already are on the fediverse, I want to make another suggestion:
What if Nextcloud becomes easier to use socially, whether or not you are on the Social app or already on Mastodon?
All existing ActivityPub implementations I’ve encountered online support webhooks and notifications via RSS.
- Improve Nextcloud support for webhooks app and RSS feeds as a means of sending notifications to Mastodon, Matrix, Discord, you name it.
- This would work even without the need of a Social app account.
- Webhooks app already supports Flows and a smattering of event types.
- Improves the decentralized nature of sending notifications from Nextcloud to other services.
I wonder if this sort of development will be simpler to implement and maintain, plus serve as a nice addition to attempting feature parity with Mastodon itself (also a laudable goal). Nextcloud itself is very much a different beast from a normal social network… perhaps the greatest strength of Nextcloud is in allowing you to stay on task while sharing with others as needed. I have never seen this discussed in terms of the Social app itself, but a hope of mine for this sort of integration has always been to make it easier to share from within Nextcloud → Federated users while not actually needing to browse my timeline or messages.
- Improvement of the file attachment process · Issue #713 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
- Social Sharing to Social App · Issue #1502 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
Expose activitypub comments and replies within Nextcloud Comments · Issue #1503 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
- If you wanted to copy Wordpress, receive a notification on each comment and manually approve whether or not to relay the federated comment into Nextcloud comments internally. This helps mitigate blocking concerns as far as what arrives within your Nextcloud as a comment. See blocking section below…
Fediverse address on profile page · Issue #12945 · nextcloud/server · GitHub
- Social addresses might need to be available to list in a profile in addition to other fediverse addresses. :shrug:
- Allow fediverse users to join circles
Eventually it would be awesome to be able to share to the Social app just as you would currently to Email, Twitter, Telegram.
- Perhaps it could become possible to share to Mastodon / federation even without a Social account. This was previously possible for Gnu Social a few years back.
This idea is not a new one, but was rather implemented by Wordpress plugin developers back around 2017. Wordpress activitypub plugins are in the top 5 activitypub implementations deployed on the web!
Click here to see exactly what the wordpress activitypub plugin supports.
Implemented: profile pages (JSON representation) custom links functional inbox/outbox follow (accept follows) share posts receive comments/reactions To implement: signature verification better WordPress integration better configuration possibilities threaded comments support
This is another issue, which I’m very curious about because it is a known problem which will have to be addressed. Famously a huge percentage of the federation was blocked. This will be massively important as soon as Nextcloud becomes truly connected to other users.
- How the biggest decentralized social network is dealing with its Nazi problem - The Verge
tastytea/FediBlock: List of block-worthy Fediverse-instances - FediBlock - schlomp.space
- No issue filed yet afaik, but Nextcloud will want to support overall blocklists at some point.
- Blocking · Issue #38 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
- Managed Caching of Fediverse Contacts & Whitelist/approvals · Issue #302 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
- Reporting & muting · Issue #41 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
- Account locking (follow after approval) · Issue #36 · nextcloud/social · GitHub
If you read all of this, thank you!!! I hope it spurs some fruitful ideas and conversation over the years ahead.