Possibility of an official Fedora Pixelfed profile

Our fediverse presence has definitely been a success so far. In the few months we’ve had our Mastodon profile we have reached over 8000 followers and get varying levels of engagement on our posts, and have been doing a great job at engaging ourselves with the content created related to Fedora. That said, Mastodon is by far the most widely used ActivityPub software but the only one using the protocol it is not.

And while my personal strategy for the Fedora Marketing team involves more using mainstream social media and a more mainstream-friendly approach, I can’t deny the impact we can do by using open, decentralized social media. With that, I bring my proposal, starting an official Fedora Pixelfed profile.

I have two main ideas of how we would maintain that profile:

  1. We could use it as a FOSS-clone of our Instagram profile, posting the same content on both platforms, which would be less creative but would take almost zero effort to maintain on the team, or…
  2. We could use it as an Instagram profile for the project (in the original sense of the platform, before the Facebook/Meta acquisition) and use it to post pictures related to the project by contributors (so event photos, professional pictures of Fedora-setups, Fedora merch pics, etc.)
    This would take a lot more effort (and hopefully we’d have support from the wider Fedora community, maybe having a constant thread here on Discussion where people would share their Fedora related pics they wanted us to post there), but would be the healthier approach for our Fediverse presence (so we wouldn’t post the same content on multiple platforms).

I’d love to have some feedback on whether you believe this is possible and content ideas for our social media efforts!


While I’m normally in favour of having presence everywhere people can connect, I think the problem is the old same problem: Who is going to maintain it?

If anyone is committed to keep it working for a reasonable amount of time (let’s say a year), so I’m totally agree.


Personal perspective

I think Pixelfed is super cool as a federated Instagram alternative that looks like it’s pretty feature complete. I don’t use it or IG myself, but it seems like it gets the job done for people.

The main con against it is just how small it is right now. On the main Pixelfed site itself they say that they only have 182k active users. The lead dev Daniel Supernault has 11k followers, which is less than his Mastodon account at 16k followers. It’s a big difference compared to Mastodon at 1.9M active users and Eugen Rochko’s following at 334k.

With it being so small, I think it would be better to point our energy to other needs in the Marketing Team rather than spinning up a new effort that may have limited fruit. If Mastodon has limited reach and that gave folks pause, Pixelfed even more so.

Team perspective

However, who cares what I think? As of I’ve hung around Fedora I’ve become a believer in needing three things in order to get something done in an open source project. The contributor has to have the skills, interest, and time to do the thing they want to do. By definition this is self-directed, so I think the best approach is for the team in that’s in charge of that part of a project to support the person who is taking the initiative. Their interest in the thing will fuel their ownership of it, and that will help the effort in the short and long term.

The team’s position should be then be to outline what is a focus and what is permissible. That way people who want to join can take the direction provided by the team or chart their own path by working on something that motivates them. The team can provide guardrails for the work so that at least everyone is moving in the same direction, if in wider capacity than originally desired.

In the case of a Pixelfed account, I think we can see the approval of an official Fedora Pixelfed provided the social media manager meets the requirements for social media access that we settled on earlier this year. That would cover the bases of having someone trusted running an account that represents the Fedora community.

I would also like to see a social media manager who will actually look after the account. Like @x3mboy said, we want to maintain the account as well as creating it. I don’t know if I have a specific time commitment that’s needed, but I think the person looking after the account should come into this thinking that they want to do this for more than a couple of months and with a long term cadence that’s reasonable for them. It can be as simple as posting once a month to being a full on content creator through the platform, but I would like to see some kind of consistency on the account.

For what it’s worth, I plan on writing out what I’ve learned through managing the Mastodon account. Those posts can serve as guidelines or a model for how we can run all of our social media accounts. I plan to cover a few things including:

  • The three pillars of our social media management strategy
  • The three layers for how in-depth social media management can go
  • How the voice of the Fedora brand should come across through our social channels (Friend Foundation is the main thing)

Besides that, I think there can be a lot of flexibility with how the account is run! Whether we want to copy what we see on the Instagram or do something more independent and creative, I think there’s a lot of room to explore content ideas for Pixelfed. For me, your ideas for what you would do are good!

Anyway, thanks for letting my use your proposal as a way to explain my thought process for turning on new social media accounts. :slight_smile:

Edit: Never mind my cons, we should manifest the growth we want to see by taking the initiative! Someone’s gotta start, right? Provided we have someone to run this of course. Our Mastodon is strong because we took the initiative instead of waiting for people to show up. If platforms need content first for people to show up, then we should invest in providing content in the spaces we want to see grow. But it’s still important to keep everything in mind that I said under the team perspective section because I certainly don’t have the bandwidth to spin up the Pixelfed account, lol.


I think great things were already said here, but the only thing I would add that a time-boxed commitment with a clear account “owner” is the right way to experiment.

For example, I would be supportive of trying an “experimental” account for the Fedora 38-39 release cycle with someone clearly “owning” the approach. Maybe this is you, @steiner? :slightly_smiling_face: I think the way Joseph did it with Mastodon was a good approach, where we were clear in saying, “hey this is an experiment and we are going to try it and see what happens—maybe it sticks, maybe it does not.”

If we are wildly successful, then we keep going! If not, we can say it was a nice try, retire it, and do something else.


If it was something I was able to create content for by myself I’d be up for the task, but if we were to use it as something more than a mirror for the Instagram content I’d need help from the community, specially when it comes to event and community pictures to share.

This is basically the only reason I don’t put myself up for the task immediately, as I’d love to experiment with it and see what happens :sweat_smile:

First, I’m bookmarking this thread as a reminder to make a ticket nominating @steiner to manage a Pixelfed account for Fedora if he’s down for it. In my mind, expectations would be to have at least one post a month at minimum and you can always ask for help with content. You also meet the qualifications for social media access.

Second, I think labeling this as an experiment is valid.

Third, I actually think that if the Pixelfed account is active, it would actually become the source of content for the Instagram rather than having Pixelfed clone the Instagram feed. It would be similar to our current arrangement with Mastodon and Twitter where content is primarily being curated on Mastodon, but Twitter can always grab Mastodon posts for itself. Pixelfed can chart a course and Instagram and copy Pixelfed every once in a while. :slight_smile:

Of relevance: Pixelfed’s developer just announced that Groups support will be in beta soon.

We might want to consider whether we want to do this as well - and apparently Mastodon will also have group support. That’s probably a better fit.

+1 to your three points, @joseph! I like the idea of one post a month because that feels like low-stakes and combining it with a label as an experiment sets expectations correctly in my opinion.

If everyone thinks that way how a new platform will grow this is the same old chicken and egg problem like we have as companys don’t make software for linux until there are users and users don’t shift to linux as there is no such software.

Agreed. Also remember this is federated - people can follow Pixelfed accounts from Mastodon or other platforms just fine, it’s just that the experience of viewing image heavy accounts is better from Pixelfed

(Conversely I sometimes follow image-heavy Mastodon accounts from Pixelfed instead of from my Masto accounts)

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Just want to say that I’m a [Pixelfed user] (vwbusguy on pixelfed) who sometimes posts about Fedora stuff there and I welcome this!