Cloudflare has revealed the launch of Wildebeest (opens in new tab), its own Mastodon-compatible server, which the company hopes will attract new and curious users to run their own servers with its cloud.
Social media has long been under scrutiny for the way it handles our data, and Twitter has spent a long few weeks in the spotlight under the leadership of new CEO, Elon Musk.
The result has been a spike in interest in the fediverse: a network of interconnected servers used for social networking, blogging, and website hosting. Mastodon has been at the forefront of this movement, with several sources indicating that it now attracts between 2-2.5 million monthly active users.
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Cloudflare Wildebeest for Mastodon
Cloudflare describes Wildebeest as an “open-source, easy-to-deploy ActivityPub and Mastodon-compatible server” built on top of its existing Supercloud platform.
The company highlighted a trio of reasons that social networkers may want to consider using Wildebeest, instead of joining an existing server. You may want to create your own community; you may not trust those in charge of other servers; or you may want complete control over your own data.
Users can run the official Mastodon server, but this can be costly and requires a high degree of technical know-how. Wildebeest promises to be quickly and easily deployable, and Cloudflare will also handle maintenance and protection from abuse or attacks.
Besides this, Wildebeest is an open-source project which means that a community will be able to continue adding new features and updating existing ones.
According to the company’s announcement (opens in new tab), Wildebeest is compatible with most client apps, including the official Mastodon Android and iOS apps, Pinafore, Mammoth, and tooot. It’s also looking into others, like Ivory, and welcomes conversation from users about adding support for other apps.
"Wildebeest is a minimally viable Mastodon-compatible server right now, but we will keep improving it with more features and supporting it over time; after all, we're using it for our official accounts. It is also open-sourced, meaning you are more than welcome to contribute with pull requests or feedback," the company noted.
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