In a bid to foster interoperability and engagement within the decentralized social media landscape, Meta has unveiled a new feature for its Threads app, enabling users to verify their Threads profiles on platforms like Mastodon. The announcement was made by Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, in a Threads post.
The feature, called “rel=me links,” serves as a method to establish a relationship between accounts across different platforms. It involves a three-step verification process that requires users to adhere to a specific order to ensure successful verification. The process is as follows:
- Profile Integration: Users are required to add their Mastodon profile link to their Threads profile.
- Link Reciprocity: The Threads profile link is then added to one of the “Extra fields” in the user’s Mastodon profile.
- Confirmation: After saving the changes, a verification appears on the Mastodon profile, manifesting as a green highlighted bar around the Threads link, along with a checkmark. This indicates the successful verification of the ownership of the Threads profile.
The verification is enabled by the “rel=me” attribute, which establishes a connection between the two linked profiles. When a Mastodon user completes the process, the Mastodon server pings the Threads page, checking for the “rel=me” attribute to confirm the linkage. This verification signifies that the user owns the specified Threads profile.
Notably, the verification process isn’t limited to Mastodon; users can employ the “rel=me” attribute to verify their Threads profiles on other diverse-supporting services such as Wikipedia, Gravatar, and Flipboard.
According to a TechCrunch report, some Mastodon users have encountered issues with the verification process which are being investigated.
This development comes amid a slew of other updates for the Threads app, including the ability to directly send posts to Instagram DMs, customization of alternative text for images, and improved mention functionality.
With the introduction of the verification feature that extends to non-Threads platforms, there is growing optimism that Meta might indeed follow through on its promise of ActivityPub support.