/kbin - Just Reddit Things update

Hey, once again, I welcome the newcomers. It's great to see new faces here :) It seems that we've managed to resolve the server issue. Unfortunately, I had to temporarily disable certain features, such as content auto-refresh. It will be restored at the beginning of next week after the infrastructure change, so you'll get to experience kbin in its full glory then :) Currently, I'm working on a few critical things that I want to finish by Monday:

  • Infrastructure improvement, optimization related to high traffic
  • Admin guide - creating a new instance
  • Fixes in notifications for post replies
  • Attend to the new mod reports
  • As soon as possible, I also want to get back to Codeberg Issues, private messages etc - there are many new topics there. Thanks to everyone for the that!

Some time ago I had an issue with bots, so registration process it might not be done perfectly. If the emial didn't reach or wasn't received in time, after a while and additional verification, the account will be manually activated.

If something important happens, please email me through the contact form - it's the fastest way to reach me. Now I'll get back to my tasks, and I wish you a great time exploring the fediverse :)

At some point, the registration will also be temporarily disabled. Nevertheless, we are still running on a budget VPS.

Have a great weekend!

rel: https://kbin.social/m/kbinMeta/p/417417/Alright-it-was-a-long-night-for-me-But-I-m


First up, thanks for your hard work!

Nevertheless, we are still running on a budget VPS.

As things are currently developing, it is almost a certainty that all reddit alternatives on the fediverse will get absolutely hammered on the 12th.

I know you are working on an infrastructure update. I just sent you a few bucks via buymeacoffee to support that. However, it could well be possible that the new infrastructure will also become overwhelmed during the days following the 12th, requiring another update in short notice.

At some point, things might become really expensive.

What I'm trying to say is: Don't be hesitant to ask for donations. I think many of the users here right now are acutely aware of how important the next few days are going to be for the post-reddit fediverse ecosystem. Growth needs servers, servers need money and I'm sure many users would be willing to to chip in.

bikesarethefuture avatar

Is there any mobile app for kbin?

shiftenter avatar

Not right now, but you can "install" the web app so that it functions similarly. Just search for something like "install progressive web app on <platform>".


Can you provide any other info about this? Searching for Progressive web app, serves me with a bunch of Progressive Insurance apps.

shiftenter avatar

Sure, no worries. Take a look at https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/Progressive_web_apps/Guides/Installing for general instructions.

This post is specifically for iOS with some more detailed instructions: https://kbin.social/m/kbinMeta/t/12242/For-iOS-users-looking-for-an-app-there-is-a

skulblaka avatar

I don't believe that there is a mobile app for kbin nor do I think you should expect one anytime soon unless you make it yourself. Kbin is still extremely early in active development.

However, if you run Chrome or Firefox on your phone, they both have an option to "install" a page as a webapp, which works remarkably well. It's what I've been using and frankly I don't have much in the way of complaints that might be fixed by a dedicated app. It feels like it is one.

ernest avatar

@zombiepiratefromspace Thank you, I really appreciate it! I will try to keep kbin.social alive for as long as I can. However, not at any cost. What is more important to me is the future decentralization, which is beautiful in the fediverse. That's why there is an emphasis on providing instructions for creating your own instance, even though kbin is still far from a stable release. I believe people will manage with a little support from me on Matrix... :)


Is there a matrix server I can join?

filbert avatar

Can you link me to a brief explanation on how the fediverse/instances work?

It is something I am still not fully grasping. For example can there but duplicate magazine names on different instances or is kbin.videos link to all the same threads regardless of instance?


Each instance is it's own independent website, but with the ability to also export content to other websites using the same communication protocol (ActivityPub). So, if you create a community on kbin.social, let's say, to use your example, videos@kbin.social, then that is a singular community that lives here on this website, kbin.social.

Someone on another website, let's say lemmy.ml, can create their own videos community, which would be videos@lemmy.ml. They're as independent from each other as r/videos on Reddit and a Facebook group also called "Videos" would be. Only, here on kbin.social, you can choose to subscribe to the videos group on lemmy.ml, and see what people are talking about there. In doing so, you're requesting that lemmy.ml forward all future content posted to videos@lemmy.ml to kbin.social, and you're requesting that kbin.social populate your personal timeline with that content that it receives.

Similarly, if someone on lemmy.ml wants to see what people are talking about in your videos@kbin.social group, they can ask lemmy.ml to do the same.

Importantly, these websites will also pass along local posts and replies intended for remote communities back to the hosting server, so that things stay in sync.

But they remain totally separate websites. They're just separate websites that pass content back and forth between each other, at the behest of their users.

A lot of people have voiced some consternation about this in the last couple of days, as I guess they feel some angst around missing out on discussions on topics they care about, because they might be taking place in communities they're not following. But I don't see this as an issue. Not only, as many people keep pointing out, are there multiple groups covering the same topics on Reddit, just with different names, that people don't object to, but in large subreddits a majority of posts never even get seen by subscribers, because they just don't gain traction in the short amount of time necessary to reach 'Hot' before something else does. In this distributed model, there is the potential for average people to actually get their posts engaged with, and for a single space to be dominated by a handful of power users. Now, each instance can have its own set of power users on a topic.

It's also trivially easy to share posts between groups, as lemmy -- though, as far as I've found, not kbin -- has a cross-post button, just like Reddit. So, anything from small groups that will interest big ones can be pushed up and anything from big groups that people may want to discuss in a quieter space can be passed down with relative ease.

After all, what's the real value in being commenter # 72,641 on a post that's reached the top of r/videos? No one's going to even see your comment, let alone respond to it. And the OP definitely won't notice it. But if you're commenter # 72 in a group of 200, then there's meaningful engagement to be had.


Is it possible for communities to be combined? Say I want to get the best of both worlds and see content from videos@kbin.social, and also video@lemmy.ml (other than just browsing to both)


I think it will be crucial for both kbin & lemmy to interprete each !videos from each fediverse instance as one like we do with comments, with the ability for each instance admin to filter out other instances.

So !videos on lemmy is sourced from;


with the admin exception of;

filbert avatar

I appreciate the link but that really doesn't explain much to me.

I understand different instances allow for decentralization. But how are they connected or are they connected? Do I see other instances on kbin.social?


My understanding is that it's like email addresses. You can write to someone with a hotmail account from your gmail account.
Just like with email, being filbert@kbin.social is not the same, e.g., being filbert@lemmy.ml. They are two separate addresses.

When it comes to instances, creating a magazines (which is sort of like a subreddit and is exactly like a lemmy community) on one instance, will create a new one: coolshit@kbin.social is not the same magazine/community as cooshilt@lemmy.ml.

However, while you're in kbin.social, you can subscribe and interact with either of those magazines/community. And, if you go to search for magazines in kbin.social, you will see both of them listed.

Ultimately, if I've understood this all, it's just that as some point any particular instance's version of a community will gain the most traction and be the de facto version. coolshit@kbin.social takes off more than cooshilt@lemmy.ml and so everyone from across the fediverse ends up following coolshit@kbin.social more than the other one.

Newbie here, but hope this helps.


I think what makes more sense is for lemmy/kbin instances to show all instances under the same !community as one from many sources, with the ability for the instance admin to filter out the source instances that are deemed innapropriate.

You could have gaming@kbin.social & gaming@lemmy.ml collectively treated as one !gaming in the instance, with different sources just like the way comments already work. Then when another community gaming@evil.rude spins up, it should be automatically interpreted as !gaming until the admin filters them from their instance.


I thought this explanation by /u/buried_treasure does a great job explaining this in an easy to understand way.

You will naturally be aware that there are many different systems on the internet, run by different companies. And these systems are generally incompatible with one another.

For example, you can't use GMail to compose and send a post to Twitter. You can't log on to Facebook and read content from Reddit (unless somebody has copied it there). You can't watch Youtube videos via Flickr. And so on.

All of this seems obvious - they're completely different systems. Why on earth SHOULD you be able to interact with them from elsewhere?

A few years ago some people decided that even though this was obvious, it wasn't the way the internet HAD to be. They developed a protocol (which is just a set of instructions for computer programs to talk to each other over the internet) which they called ActivityPub, and then basically said to software developers "here it is. We think this could be a cool way of getting different systems to interact with each other. See what you can do".

In the 5 or 6 years since then, lots of software developers HAVE tried to see what they can do with ActivityPub. One well-known example of a system that uses it is Mastodon. It's a system that is similar to Twitter.

Another couple of ActivityPub systems that are becoming popular right now are Lemmy and KBin. They are Messageboard systems, roughly similar in concept to Reddit.

There are many other ActivityPub systems, for example Pixelfed (which is a bit like Flickr, so for hosting photos), Peertube (yep you guessed it, videos), Friendica (like Facebook) and far too many others to list. Collectively, these systems and any others that use ActivityPub call themselves "the Fediverse".

OK - so what? These are just wannabe competitors to the big boys: Twitter, Youtube, Reddit, right?

Not right! The magic of ActivityPub and the Fediverse is that they can all interact with each other.

So you can log on to Mastodon and subscribe to Lemmy groups. That would be like logging on to Twitter and subbing to your favourite subreddit. And then being able to read the posts from that subreddit right there in Twitter.

You can log on to KBin and follow users on Peertube. Imagine being able to follow and view content from your favourite Youtube streams from right here in Reddit.

That's the real beauty of the Fediverse - every system knows how to talk to every other one. The other clever bit about it is that because ActivityPub is a publicly-defined protocol, no one company can own it and take it over. It's almost impossible for a billionaire like Elon Musk to take over Mastodon, or for Lemmy admins to decide to shut out third-party APIs. Because the system has been built from the very beginning to be open, and shared, and communal.

Violet avatar

Thank you for pasting that explanation, it was very helpful to a newbie like me!

ChoccyMilk avatar

This is probably the clearest explanation I've found yet - thank you!


What an amazing explanation, I really wish kbin had a save feature

Kaldo avatar

Well said, the dream really is for people to start hosting their own instances instead of everyone just coming here.

Also, as the number of federated instances increases isn't it going to cause exponentially more overall traffic since every instance will have to start pinging others in order to populate the landing page, it's gonna be quite a web with many requests instead of just one as it'd be on reddit or other centralized sites?


Registration was no issue for me and the confirmation mail went through immediately. Meanwhile the beehaw registration has not seen an approval or disapproval for a couple days now. I definitely like the UI leaning more towards that of Reddit, although some features are missing, like the ability to collapse comment chains, individually or all of them (as in the Relay mobile client), or even starting them out collapsed by default (useful for very active submissions, which I think the Infinity mobile client had an option for).

For visibility sake I also want to push for calling "Magazines" "Bins" instead.


Hey fellow Relay user, definitely looking for a site that has a similar feel because Relay's just so good as a Reddit app. I like the layout here so far, too.

doc, (edited )

Collapsing a comment & chain is a huge missing feature for me. Also, one cannot get a permalink to a particular comment/reply nor a context link (ie the comment/reply a new comment/reply is responding to). Unless I'm missing that. I also wish the true/false difference in up/down votes were more distinct.

These are early days for a lot of these platforms, and really what's been built on kbin so far is impressive as it is. We're all used to feature sets that have existed for years so it's easy to think they are simple to implement, but that's not the case. I'm looking forward to seeing everything mature.

Edit: permalink is the timestamp/age next to your name at the top of the post.

themadcodger avatar

I appreciate you making this and the work you're doing. Is there a way to donate?

ernest avatar

I have seen a few questions in the suggestions about this. I wanted to wait until everything settles down, but additional support would be extremely helpful for me right now, and maybe this is the right moment for it. In my free time, I will write a separate post about it, with detailed server costs, etc. I also quickly created this for now https://www.buymeacoffee.com/kbin :)

fignewton avatar

I jumped over from reddit this morning and am glad I could support you. Still trying to figure everything out but I like what I see so far. Cheers!

HeartyBeast avatar

Bought you a coffee as a small thank you. Could I ask you a question, while I'm here - possibly contentious.

If we agree that servers take cash to run, some kind of income stream is good. Donations is one way - but what do you think about the concept of letting individual instances display advertisements similar to Reddit's sponsored posts.

The advert would only show in the local stream. Users could then decide whether they want to host their own instance, use one that asks dor donations, or use one that takes adverts.

You could see how an instance that is specialised around a subject or geography could maybe subsidise their running costs.

Is this philosophical abhorrent? Or acceptable, and if acceptable might it be something that might be supported in the future?

ernest avatar

Thank you :) I wrote a longer post on this topic on my Polish instance once, but I can't quickly find it now, and I have to get back to work. As soon as things calm down a bit, I'll go back to your post.


So, there are people across the Fediverse that are opposed to ads and will block an instance that have them, I understand but believe this is ridiculous. As running a server costs money and donations are not enough. I believe as long as they are not intrusive ads then it should be fine.


I agree. Although, non-intrusive non-"native" ads are hard to find. I wouldn't mind the return of text-only ads like back in 90s when Google started out. However, ads must not be of tracking kind either.

But video + image visual ads are automatic no from me. They're distracting and slows down the page.


I wonder about the concept of a pinned post that linked to some kind of survey app. One that let you take a survey and would pay the instance for doing that?

FaceDeer avatar

Indeed, if someone's a staunch opponent of advertising then it seems rather counterproductive to block an instance with advertising from your own - if they federate with you then that means people can see content posted on that instance without seeing the ads (I can't imagine how the protocol could allow for "portable advertising" otherwise).

That should allow for a natural "marketplace" to form that minimizes ads to just the level that's required. If people are able to pay for the server resources required for their instance without advertisement then people will naturally gravitate there, if those free servers become overburdened and can't expand their capacity then the ad-supported ones will naturally start to take some of the load back.

The only other way I can think of to let resources flow where they're needed would be to integrate some sort of cryptocurrency into the protocol, and while I'm personally a fan of cryptocurrencies and think applications like this are perfectly fine I can already hear people sharpening their torches and igniting their pitchforks.

Swyperider avatar

Thank you to all of the developers, testers, and everyone else involved for this. I am loving kbin and I hope it'll gain more prominence on the fediverse.

CatBookCat avatar

it is one developer

@silverpill@mitra.social avatar

@ernest Federation appears to be broken. My server started getting 403 Forbidden responses when it tries to fetch actors from kbin.social

Your server presents HTML page containing this text: "Enable JavaScript and cookies to continue"


@silverpill @ernest
yun-wuxin:[wisknort]:~$ curl -Is kbin.social | grep -i server
Server: cloudflare

lol, lmao

@momo@mk.absturztau.be avatar

@Zerglingman @silverpill @ernest Amazing that he doesn't realize that Cloudflare is doing the same thing as Twitter/Facebook/Youtube. They admit that they want to capture users into the free tier and gouge them into upgrading in their S-1 filing (this is also called "predatory pricing" and would attract the ire of any regulator with a spine).


@momo @ernest @silverpill It's wild how we live in a world where mitm-as-a-service is not only legal and profitable, but is so even while also being scummy as hell.

@momo@mk.absturztau.be avatar

@Zerglingman @ernest @silverpill It's definitely not legal, but the precedence that would be set from prosecuting anti-trust would blow up everybody's portfolio. So, money.

ernest avatar
@momo@mk.absturztau.be avatar

@ernest I'm going to be relatively nice because other Fediverse users won't. A lot of Fediverse users use software that Cloudflare does not like (i.e. anything that protects privacy, any IP address that cannot be traced to a single residence) and will not be able to view anything on your site. I recommend at the very least making plans to move off of Cloudflare, because there are negative externalities that arise from using it.

ernest avatar

I'm simply trying to keep the instance alive at all costs for the time being. Believe me, several years on the fediverse have been enough to educate me about Cloudflare.


EnglishMobster avatar

Are you comfortable with saying how much this instance costs to run? Or even just a ballpark of how much you think it would cost per-user?

A few subreddits are having a discussion later today about hosting our own "official" instance collectively and we're trying to figure out how much each option would cost.

So any kind of data would be fantastic to help me convince them to choose Kbin. ;)

ernest avatar

@EnglishMobster Sure, it's no secret. Everything I do is transparent, and I want others to benefit as much as possible from it. Kbin was designed with small instances in mind. Of course, there are optional components like Redis and Rabbitmq that increase the requirements a bit. It's hard for me to assess the impact on users at the moment. I've been maintaining my Polish instance (karab.in) for over a year with these two hetzner vps - 6eur-9eur/month + ~2$ s3 storage.

ernest avatar

Kbin.social has been maintained on a VPS for €16.11/month up until now. Currently, I have upgraded it to the highest package to handle as much traffic as possible when the worst comes. It now costs €66.91/month.

These are the statistics with approximately 7000 unique visitors per hour and a fairly intensive usage of the site, including the entire federation. That's all I know for now.

@pawel@wspanialy.eu avatar

@ernest wow. Po pierwsze - gratulacje. Po drugie - współczuję 😅. Trzymam kciuki!

@piotrsikora@pol.social avatar

@ernest @EnglishMobster @rysiek duze użycie tego PHP… wszystko masz ok z konfiguracja?

@rysiek@mstdn.social avatar

@ernest might be time to think about bare metal.


@nemobis@mamot.fr avatar

@ernest Have you considered setting up a donation pot at #OpenCollective?

trent avatar

Impressive :) I've found high-strength VPSes don't get too far though. For 67EUR, you could certainly get a decently meaty dedi and I think it'd be a great start.


@ernest @EnglishMobster Do you have an open Collective I can direct people to? I also love the #Accessibility work you put into this already! I hope it continues, as a screen reader user.


That’s so exciting 😊 You guys should consider opening donations when you do. I’m sure people will want to help you guys out

mac avatar

Excited to see where this goes! Thanks for your hard work @ernest


So where is the contact form?
For someone interested in setting up an instance but concerned about cost can you tell us what specs your current VPS has? What does bandwidth usage look like?
A deployment guide would be helpful, too. It looks like you're developing the platform pretty rapidly so I think other servers would need to update on a frequent basis.

Sam_uk avatar

Liberal use of this link will fix many of the issues https://www.buymeacoffee.com/kbin

0x avatar

Admin guide - creating a new instance

Looking forward to a more comprehensive one as the current one basically skips over the most important part and just says "configure things". Not really clear what else should I configure and how.


I'm a really big fan of this idea of using Kbin/Fediverse, but I've noticed that many magazines/communities (especially the ones from Lemmy) are not being updated properly on Kbin (posts/threads just straight up missing on Kbin while I can see them on the Lemmy instance). Just to clarify, is this a temporary issue or has this always been like this?

AnakinSandlover avatar

From what I can gather this is a temporary thing and will slowly improve as cloudflare protection is gradually lifted, among other things.


Thanks for the update, it’s very welcome as a new user!

Have you published anywhere a something like a vision statement or a roadmap that would help me understand how kbin differs from Lemmy and how those differences might will change in the future?

quy avatar

Thank you so much for your work! I'm really enjoying here 😊


New arrival and (probably like many others) I want to understand: how is kbin like reddit? Specifically, how does one create or find or participate in sub-kbins. I want to find/create/read/comment on the topic of, say, "off grid" or "CDR" or "astronomy". I'll get back to the topic of funding support later . . . ;)

MeccAnon avatar

Hi! There's still some discrepancies in assets naming, but in a nutshell, Magazines are the equivalent of subreddits.

Adding (using the '+' on top right) an Article, Link or Photo generates a Thread.
Adding a Post generates a Microblog.

BaldProphet avatar


This is confusing to people familiar with Reddit, because on Reddit a thread is a top-level comment on a post. Here, it seems that there are three distinct objects: Threads, microblogs (posts?) and comments (threads).

@grishka@friends.grishka.me avatar

Cool to see that this thing is already federating. Let's see if my comment from Smithereen appears 😏

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