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Pixelfed is a photo and video sharing platform, similar in functionality to Instagram, but with one important difference: it is open source and federated. As part of Fediverse, it uses the ActivityPub protocol to communicate with other federated platforms. In Pixelfed, users can host their own instance, which is a standalone server on the Pixelfed network, allowing greater control over the image and video sharing experience.

History and evolution of Pixelfed

Pixelfed started its journey at Fediverso in 2018 and has since undergone continuous development. Below are some of the key milestones in Pixelfed's evolution:

  • 2018: Initial launch of Pixelfed. The platform was designed as a federated and open-source alternative to Instagram.
  • 2018 – 2019: During this time, Pixelfed added "like" and comment functionalities on posts, allowing for more interaction between users.
  • 2019: Pixelfed began offering accessibility options, such as alternative captions for images, that help hearing-impaired users interact with the platform.
  • 2020: The platform introduced image filters and other features that improve the user experience when sharing photos and videos.
  • 2021 - 2022: In this period, Pixelfed continued to focus its efforts on the continuous improvement of the user interface and the addition of new functionalities to improve the user experience.

Today, Pixelfed is a respected choice within Fediverso and continues to grow in terms of users and functionalities.

Features and functionalities

The main features and functionalities of Pixelfed include:

  • Intuitive Interface: Pixelfed offers a simple and intuitive user interface that makes it easy to navigate and share photos and videos.
  • Federation: As a member of Fediverso, Pixelfed can federate with other Pixelfed instances and with other platforms that support ActivityPub.
  • Open source: The source code of Pixelfed is publicly available, allowing anyone to contribute to the development of the platform.
  • User Control: Pixelfed users can host their own instance, giving them full control over their data and server settings.

Advantages and disadvantages of Pixelfed

Among the advantages of Pixelfed, we can highlight:

  • Greater control over data: By allowing users to host their own instance, Pixelfed offers greater control over data than on corporate-owned photo-sharing platforms.
  • Federation: The ability to federate with other instances and platforms expands the reach of publications and allows greater interaction between users.
  • Open source: Being an open source platform, Pixelfed encourages transparency and allows community input to the development of the platform.

Among the disadvantages of Pixelfed we find:

  • Technical difficulties: Hosting your own Pixelfed instance can be a technical challenge for users with no server management experience.
  • Smaller user base: Being a newer and lesser-known platform than corporate-owned alternatives, Pixelfed may have a smaller user base.

Pixelfed instances

Pixelfed, being a federated platform, is composed of multiple independent servers or "instances". Each instance of Pixelfed can have its own moderation policies and rules, and users can choose to join the instance that best suits their needs. Listed below are some of the most popular Pixelfed instances:

  • pixelfed.social: This is the main instance of Pixelfed, managed by the creator of Pixelfed, "dansup".
  • pix.diaspodon.fr: A French-speaking instance that is also open to international users.
  • pixelfed.de: This is a German-speaking instance, but it also accepts international users.
  • pix.tedomum.net: An instance managed by Tedomum, a French organization that provides a number of open source services.

It is important to note that each instance has its own set of rules and policies, and it is the responsibility of users to review them before joining an instance.

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