Meta has implemented the ability to verify a link to your Threads profile on social media platforms like Mastodon, according to a Threads post by Instagram boss Adam Mosseri. To be clear, this is not a free way to get a blue checkmark next to your thread name; you’ll probably have to pay Meta to get one of those. Instead, this new feature helps you test in other platforms to which a Threads profile you link to is owned by you. But it also represents something bigger: a real feature of Meta Threads that connects with decentralized social networks.
I got this working in just a few minutes on my Mastodon profile, which means a URL to my Threads account now has a green checkmark. I’ll explain how I set this up a bit later in this story, but for now, here’s a screenshot of what it looks like:
Mosseri announced the update as part of a thread about some other new features announced on Wednesday. “We also implemented Threads support for rel=me links to help you verify your identity on platforms like Mastodon,” Mosseri said. “You can now add your Threads profile link on supported platforms to verify your identity.”
I admit I didn’t know what rel=me links were when I read Mosseri’s post, so I found a Mastodon support page that explained how they work. “If you put an HTTPS link in your profile metadata, Mastodon checks if that link resolves to a web page that links to your Mastodon profile with a special rel=me attribute.” According to the document. “If so, you get a checkmark next to that link, since you’re confirmed as the owner.”
If you’re glassy-eyed reading all that, don’t worry: I found it was ultimately pretty straightforward to do my mastodon account display a verified checkmark to my thread profile. This is how I did it:
mosseri has saying that Meta plans to eventually integrate Threads with the decentralized ActivityPub protocol, and I’ve been skeptical about Meta following along. But now that the company has implemented this verification feature that works on non-Threads platforms, I’m starting to believe that one day we’ll see ActivityPub support in Threads proper.