Meta on Wednesday took a small step toward supporting the fediverse by adding the ability to verify your Threads profile on Mastodon. The company announced that it is adding support for “rel=me” links — a way to establish a relationship between two accounts by pointing links to each other.
Here is how you can verify your Threads profile on Mastodon. Importantly, you have to follow the order for the verification to work.
1. Add your Mastodon profile to your Threads profile.
2. Add your Threads profile link to one of the “Extra fields” in your Mastodon profile.
3. Save the changes.
The verification will likely appear on your Mastodon profile in the form of a green highlighted bar around the Threads link along with a checkmark. You can see what the verification looks like in the screengrab below.
When you complete the process, the Mastodon server essentially pings the Threads page to check for a “rel=me” web attribute and verify that the link in your Threads profile is pointing back to Mastodon. This ‘verification’ only shows that you are the owner of the mentioned Threads profile and nothing else. Apart from Mastodon, you can also use this attribute to verify your Threads profile on services supporting the fediverse — a network of decentralized servers — such as Wikipedia, Gravtar, and Flipboard.
However, this method is not working for some Mastodon users. A Threads engineer mentioned that the team is looking into verification-related bugs. Additionally, the engineer said that there is no way for you to verify your Mastodon profile on Threads at the moment.
This update came with a slew of other features being added to Threads, including the ability to send a post directly to Instagram DMs, letting users add custom alt text for images, and a button to easily mention someone in a post.
Instagram head Adam Mosseri also noted this update in his post and said it is one of the “meaningful steps towards adopting open standards and the fediverse.” He also said that the company has been using an “early version” of Threads on the web internally. This means we can get a fully functional desktop version of the social network in a few weeks.
Last month, Mosseri said that because of technical challenges, the Threads app won’t support the fediverse at the launch. But he mentioned that the company is “fully committed to building support for ActivityPub.”
Last year, after Elon Musk took over Twitter, developers built many link verification services for Mastodon as people were migrating to the fediverse.