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Mapping Microblogging to XMPP (without pubsub)

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It’s one of those things that happen in the morning: you start thinking about bots and suddenly realize that bots for twitter, jaiku, and others are really done wrong. A few seconds lates you realize you could do a microblogging system using just reliable XMPP infrastructure (if you want to know why pubsub doesn’t fit the bill, you’ve missed Melo‘s presentation at Codebits 2008).

So here goes the blueprint:

  • The service is a XMPP server that serves a domain (ex:
  • Server customization 1: maximum message size is 140 characters to avoid big timeloss on useless messages.
  • Direct Messages from Alice to Bob: a chat message sent from to
  • My timeline is a MUC with only a single visitor (me) with messages coming from several users.
  • Posts from me can be done in the MUC or to a publisher “bot” (have no preference so far).
  • Standard subscription applies – a user can chose to automatically accept people to read it’s messages (the equivalent of the public profile – obviously this can be the default).
  • 2nd importance messages (ex: feeds like in jaiku/pownce) can be sent as messages with type headline.

And that’s it. This is what would take to have microblogging in a XMPP server.


  • Federation is free.
  • It could work, with all the load going on the server for scoble-like users (which would also happen with pubsub as it is).
  • No changes needed in reality for it to work (no changes in infrastructure, no changes in google’s policies).


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  1. Lopo says

    Can’t wait to see this working 🙂

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