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SNS, social media terminologies explained

Explaining each and every social network terms.

 ·  ☕ 3 min read  · 
❄️ Yohan Yuki Xie
Fediverse Follow

Have you come across terms like “Social Web”, “Mycelial Web”, “Fediverse”, “Threadiverse”, “Mycelium network”, “Nostr”, “ATproto”, “ActivityPub”, and “DDFON”? They can sound quite techie and confusing. Today, let’s demystify them!

(in alphabetical order)

ActivityPub (AP)

The protocol behind the fediverse mycelium network, recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) since 2018–01–13


A friendly name for the whole mycelium network built on top of ATproto. 1 2


The protocol that powers the ATmosphere mycelium network, often mistakenly referred to as Bluesky.


A cryptographic ledger, popularised by cryptocurrencies, and also used in DDFON SNS like Audius (music), Hive (content), and Verasity (video).


The first public server using the ATproto protocol, commonly but inaccurately used to refer to the entire ATproto mycelium network. Bluesky is only one of many ATproto servers. (Also see ATmosphere.)


Stands for “Decentralized, Distributed, Federated, Open Network” ﹘ a term I coined in 2011, 34 also known as mycelial web.


Also known as The Federation, is a mycelium network built on the diaspora* protocol.


The friendly name for the mycelium network using the ActivityPub protocol and its predecessors (OStatus (2010–2020), OpenMicroBlogging (2008–2010)). Coined by Mark Eckenwiler in 2012-05-25 and by Marjolein Katsma in 2013-01-24. 567


The original name for the fediverse mycelium network, coined by Luke Slater in 2010-03-14. 89


A federated instant messaging mycelium network, the first DDFON. The name was dropped in favour of the term XMPP.


A fediverse software using the ActivityPub protocol, sometimes mistakenly used to refer to the entire fediverse mycelium network. It is a registered trademark that should only be used within the context of the Mastodon® software.


An IRC-like federated messaging platform similar to XMPP, serving as both the protocol and the mycelium network name.

Mycelium [Network]

A network of fungal threads in nature, applied to tech networks like the fediverse, ATmosphere, and Nostr mycelium networks. Originally suggested to replace the term fediverse but redefined in 2022.

Mycelial Web

Multiple networks of fungal threads (mycelium) is called mycelia or mycelial. In tech, mycelial is the umbrella term for mycelium networks like XMPP, fediverse, Matrix, Nostr, and ATmosphere; a friendly name for DDFON.


Both the protocol and the name of the mycelium network it supports.


The first protocol of the fediverse from 2008–2010.


The fediverse protocol, active from 2010–2020. 10

Secure Scuttlebutt (SSB)

A cryptographic mycelium network where content is shared only with followers.

Semantic Web

One of the original meanings of Web3.0, where the web becomes capable of analyzing all the data on the Web—the content, links, and transactions between people and computers through W3C standards.

SNS (Social Networking Service)

The original term for social media, still commonly used in Korea and the Asia-Pacific region.

Social Media

The term for SNS in English-speaking countries.

Social Web

Also known as Web3 or Web3.0, it promotes an open, interoperable web instead of closed silos. It is about building platforms that interoperate through federation and bridges, while ensuring resiliency through distribution and decentralization. 11121314


Refers to threaded fediverse platforms like Lemmy, Kbin, and Mbin.

In Korea, it refers specifically to Meta’s Threads platform with fediverse integration. 15


Refers to Semantic Web as coined by Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee in 2006. 16

Also refers to the social web “Le Web3” conference in France in 2007 and earlier. 121314

Can also refer to blockchain technology as defined by Gavin Wood in 2014. 17


Initially coined for the social web conference in 2007 by Loic Le Meur, 121314 it later included blockchain tech definitions by Gavin Wood in 2014. 17

XMPP (eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol)

The first federated instant messaging platform, originally named Jabber.

  1. Kuba Suder: There’s also the unofficial name “Atmosphere” or “ATmosphere” that some people use for the whole network built on top of ATProto (published: 2024-06-10) (archived 2024-06-10: 1 2↩︎

  2. Paul “Frazee”: atmosphere (archived 2024-06-10: 1 2↩︎

  3. Yahuhanan Yukiya Sese Cuneta: Maybe this map can be useful to the #DDFON community? Initial target market perhaps? (published: 2011–10–15) (archived 2024–06–09: 1 2↩︎

  4. Yahuhanan Yukiya Sese Cuneta: And good night Decentralized, Distributed, Federated, Open, Network! (published: 2011–11–10) (archived 2024–06–09: 1 2↩︎

  5. Mark Eckenwiler: Fully accessible from my part of the fediverse (published: 2012–05–25) (archived: 1 2↩︎

  6. Marjolein Katsma: good morning / #tzag #identiverse / fediverse :) (published: 2013–01–24) (archived: 1↩︎

  7. Twitter search: (fediverse) until:2013–01–31 since:2006–01–01 (archived: 1 2↩︎

  8. Luke Slater: Time for bed. Goodnight Identiverse. Thank you for existing! (published: 2010–03–14) (archived: 1↩︎

  9. Notices tagged with identiverse (archived: 1↩︎

  10. Pleroma: Releasing Pleroma 2.0.0 (published: 2020-03-08) (archived: 1 2↩︎

  11. Jesse Stay: Just finished blogging about “the Social Web” (aka Web 3.0): (published: 2007–05–31) (archived 2024–06–07: 1 2↩︎

  12. Loic Le Meur: merci pour le post sur les tarifs du Web3… faudra que je fasse un podcast la dessus un de ces 4 (published: 2007–09–20) (archived 2024–06–07: 1 2↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  13. Loic Le Meur: going to bed with my 400 000 euros budget proposal for Le Web3 wifi proposal from one of a top wifi netwoks… can’t believe it (published: 2007–10–26) (archived 2024–06–07: 1 2↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  14. Loic Le Meur: made Le Web3 wiki up at (published: 2007–12–10) (archived 2024–06–07: 1 2↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  15. 앱타쿠: The word ‘Threadiverse’ I think korean users in fediverse use this word very popular. What you talked to me like Kbin, lemmy, mbin etc are very unpopular in korea( cause we already have too many major bulletin board websites) and that’s why ‘Threads + Fediverse = Threadiverse’ is popular in korea (published: 2024–06–05) (archived 2024–06–07: 1 2↩︎

  16. New York Times: A ‘more revolutionary’ Web (published: 2006–05–23) (archived 2024–06–07: 1 2↩︎

  17. Wikipedia: Web3 (published: 2024–05–25) (archived 2024–06–07: 1 2↩︎ ↩︎

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