An 8bit image of a new bridge opening with a mastodon walking across while a group of people are happy to cross and hang out

New Fediverse Bluesky bridge in beta testing

An 8bit image of a new bridge opening with a mastodon walking across while a group of people are happy to cross and hang out

The bridge has been built and the switch has been turned on! Even though there was a lot of struggle and strife, arguments, and knockdown-drag-outs,, AKA Ryan Barrett persevered by taking into account everyone’s opinions on what a cross-fediverse bridge between the ActivityPub powered landscape dominated by Mastodon and the ATProto protocol that powers BlueSky. It’s important to many people including myself that all networks in what I call the Open Social Media Services (OpenSNS) collection of decentralized federated networks be able to talk and interact with each other; else we might as well just go on creating big-ass tech silos that eventually will wall people off based on pre-existing factors like ethnicity, geography, culture at best and/or consolidate power to just one group of people or companies at worse. But I’ve talked ad-nauseam about this in other postings already; it’s time to talk about how this thing works!

1️⃣ Getting ready to cross

Whether you’re coming from ActivityPub/Mastodon and friends or ATProto/Bluesky, the first part is the same: You need to follow the bot that will register your OpenSNS username with Bridgy’s servers. This will count as an intent on your part that you wish your posts to be popped over to the other side.

  • For 🐘 ActivityPub accounts interacting with 🦋 ATProto, follow and

    your bridged ATproto username is @[username.server.tld]

  • For ATProto accounts interacting with 🐘 ActivityPub, follow and your bridged ActivityPub username is @[username]

🚧 At some point there’s going to be a message that will also let you know you’ve done this right after you registered sent to your existing account in the form of a unlisted message, but for now just head over to your new user page manually:

  • 🐘 for ActivityPub users, your bridged user page is[username]@[server name].[tld]

  • 🦋 for ATProto users, your bridged user page can be found at[username]

There, you can even add followers and check logs to see if something isn’t working properly with syncing.

2️⃣ Let’s hop across the bridge

At this point things should be up and running and you really don’t have to do much; the system will poll somewhere between every 5~10 minutes looking for new posts to translate to the other side from you. Of course it’s in early beta right now, so it’s polling whenever Ryan gets around to it while he makes changes and works out the kinks. I recommend having an account on your target SNS site just so you can see the output and make sure it shows up correctly. There’s also a handy RSS output in your Bridgy userpage that you can subscribe to and keep track of things as well.
It’s a simple bridge really– you post in one place and it translates and posts it in the other place. If you get activity on that post in the other place, it rolls back to you wherever you are.

3️⃣ Following across the bridge

If you want to follow someone else in the other place, you need to know how their username translates just as in 1️⃣ above. Here’s some examples:

  • You’re a Mastodon user wanting to follow my Bluesky account, then you need to search for in your user search engine on Mastodon or in the app, just you’d do for a normal user.
  • You’re a Bluesky user wanting to follow my Mastodon account, then you need to search for in the Bluesky users search field.

There’s a bit more to it, so please read the docs to get a good understanding:

A large mastodon and butterfly stand at a bridge entrance while cars and people cross.

4️⃣ Construction Notices

This is a very early beta. I outlined the core feature set, but there are some such as more interactive onboarding and opt-in notices that aren’t in production yet. Also polling is being done manually by Ryan as he works out kinks in the program and scales things up. Expect lots of changes in the next few weeks as use cases roll in and traffic is shaped. You can be a part of the process though by filing issue comments on the Github for the project:

5️⃣ Enjoy the scenery!

I’d like to thank Ryan for taking the time out of his… well life really. Bridgy has been a free service he’s operated to enable the crossposting across different social media and blogs since 2017. This blog is half powered by it whenever someone comments via Bluesky and Mastodon! He charges $0 and while he insists it’s a negligible cost to keep the infrastructure up, his rapid response to problems and ability to chat about how it works anytime has gotta be a serious time weight, passion project or not. This endeavor is very much appreciated and highly valued by me and lots more, I’m sure. 🙇🏾‍♂️

Also, be sure to catch his Flipboard/Dot Social interview if you’d like to know more about the project and the rollercoaster ride around it.

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19 responses
  1. @starrwulfe we’re gonna have so many different names for Fedi before the major platforms even get here that everyone will be so confused.🤣🤣

  2. @BeAware tell me about it. I lived in Japan so all social media is called SNS. There needs to be easier verbiage that encapsulates what the fediverse is. OpenSNS is that word for me anyway.

  3. @starrwulfe 🤷‍♂️to each their own. Fediverse is what most people will be calling it though. Buzzwords catch people’s attention better and makes them curious and interested sometimes.

  4. Thanks for the writeup and kind words!
    (Btw the polling is automated, just not bulletproof yet. I’m hoping to switch it to realtime eventually.)

    1. Always happy to help! Let me know if there’s anything additional I can volunteer a little time towards if it helps the cause ✌🏾

      BTW, I got near real-time speeds after the entirety of my 🦋 posts got piped through the bridge. Hey at least I have an archive of my Bsky history now!

  5. @BeAware I’m not above calling it Fediverse– been doing it since 2017 after all. Just also aware terminolgy changes depending on culture and geography too. Also does Fediverse only mean ActivityPub? Mastodon? Can Bluesky be included? Nostr?
    It’s kinda like how AOL and Prodigy (yep, I’m old) was called The Internet, and Facebook/Twitter were too up until the Social Media moniker stuck. It’s all fluid, and just as you said, a buzzword away from complete understanding.
    I guess when Threads turns on full-fledged bi-directional fedi powers, we’ll definitely have the answers then tony_normal

  6. let’s get bonkers. Here’s an ActivityPub post bridged to Bsky… But it’s also being bridged from a wordpress instance… will it show up in the comments section…?

    1. Yep! Looks like the bridge can be bridged too!
      (the GIF didn’t make it over though.)

  7. #fediverse #atproto #opensource

  8. I used a terrible AI pic. It’s kinda what I do for hero images on my site. You should see the ones that generate that I don’t use! It’s a real freak show.

  9. I’m so confused. I have no idea how to set this up. But also may be blocking

    1. Tell me which way you’re going and I’ll walk you though it step-by-step.
      Fediverse to Bluesky or Bluesky to Fediverse?

      And yeah, that instance is blocking as a bot instance.

  10. Still sounds wayyyyyyy too complicated. I don’t want to have to join some weird specific server and then try to figure out how to communicate with other servers.

    I just want everything in one place.

  11. Thanks for this! I know someone on mastodon who’s not here, so if I want to follow him, I can do that here through the bridge. 😎 How do you get Bluesky comments to show up on a post on your website? It says to put in your site name. Does it automatically know which comments go w which posts?


    Curious if anyone has seen a problem where a Bluesky user has followed with non-logged in viewing blocked, therefore no user page was created, then user unfollowed, disabled non-logged in viewing blocked and refollowed, but now it still won't create a user page. It's been over 24 hrs.

  13. The image is painful for the eyes

  14. Such as it is with poorly trained AI generated hero images trying to emulate pixel art. I should probably change that.

  15. If this works then I should merge the votes for mastodon & bluesky. I would want to post on ivory, which (after tweetbot, RIP) is my favourite client. Can I use your bridge from that?

    Interestingly, so far mastodon is all voting (heavily) for itself, but twitter is 12% voting for bsky 😀

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