OStatus is an open standard for federated microblogging, allowing users on one website to send and receive status updates with users on another website.[1] The standard describes how a suite of open protocols, including Atom, Activity Streams, WebSub, Salmon, and WebFinger,[2] can be used together, which enables different microblogging server implementations to route status updates between their users back-and-forth, in near real-time.


OStatus federation was first possible between StatusNet installations, such as Status.net and Identi.ca,[3] although Identi.ca later switched to pump.io.[4] As of June 2013, a number of other microblogging applications and content management systems had announced that they intended to implement the standard.[5] That same month, it was announced StatusNet would be merged into the GNU social project, along with Free Social.[16]

Following the first official release of GNU Social, a number of microblogging sites running StatusNet and Free Social began to transition to it. But frustrations with the technology underpinning GNU Social led a number of new server packages that aimed to be compatible with GNU Social using OStatus to shift focus to ActivityPub, including Mastodon (until October 2019),[6] Pleroma,[7] and postActiv.

Standards work

In January 2012, a W3C Community Group was opened to maintain and further develop the OStatus standard.[8] However, this was eclipsed by the work of the W3C Federated Social Web Working Group, launched in July 2014.[9] This working group focused on creating a newer standard, called ActivityPub, based on the protocols used in pump.io, which has been standardized as a successor to OStatus.[10][11]

Projects using OStatus


Projects in active development using OStatus for federation.

See also


  1. ^ Jackson, Joab (28 July 2010). "Could open source tools make Facebook the next AOL?". computerworld.com.
  2. ^ "StatusNet Cloud Service Opens To The Public – Black Web". Archived from the original on 19 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Group Redent Plugin for Status.net / Identi.ca – Dave Hall Consulting". www.davehall.com.au.
  4. ^ "StatusNet, Identi.ca, and transitioning to pump.io [LWN.net]". lwn.net.
  5. ^ "Platforms – Federated Social Web Incubator Group". www.w3.org.
  6. ^ "Remove Salmon and PubSubHubbub by Gargron · Pull Request #11205 · tootsuite/mastodon". GitHub. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  7. ^ Tilley, Sean (24 April 2018). "Blushy-Crushy Fediverse Idol: A Chat with Lain about Pleroma". medium.com.
  8. ^ OStatus Community Group W3C
  9. ^ "Social networking built into the Web? W3C gives it a go". cnet.com. 21 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Victory for libre networks: ActivityPub is now a W3C recommended standard — Free Software Foundation — working together for free software". www.fsf.org.
  11. ^ "Sandstorm And The Social Web". zenhack.net. Archived from the original on 30 October 2020. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  12. ^ Tilley, Sean (10 October 2017). "Got Zot — Mike Macgirvin". medium.com.