The beginning of 2019 for has indicated a year of momentous change, with the promise of improvements and exciting yet reasonable developments across the platform, whether that’s from the team or third-party developers.

There has already been lots for everybody to get their hands on and it is fair to say the community is becoming ever more passionate about exploring the possibilities of the web as the social platform; Brent Simmons said it best. With that in mind…

Let’s take a look at what’s been happening lately on!

In the past month…


The month ended with a bang; custom themes are now possible, at least to a much larger extent than before. Existing themes have been rebuilt, as part of a switch from Jekyll to Hugo, and it is now possible to extend the core for much greater customisation.

There is now also a new theme, based on Arabica, whilst the option to share your custom theme has been built in. All of the rebuilt themes are also available on GitHub, along with Arabica.

The Mac

In a fruitful month for the Mac app, two significant updates were released. In the first, the alt tag feature was implemented, making it much easier to making your images more accessible, whilst full-screen photos were made available via clicking an image.

In the second update the app went dark with Dark Mode available on Mojave, whilst the auto-complete username feature was implemented when making a new post. Other improvements and fixes were also made.

Help redesign, categories, Snippets, and more!

There was a significant update across the entire Help site, with a redesign that included an update to the home page index and a new search tool. Meanwhile, categories finally arrived to Hosted blogs along with an auto-filter feature for photos and feed functionality for individual categories, all of which are linked at the top of your archive page. Support for categories has also been added to the API.

Jonathan Hays has developed a Swift-based framework for the API and it has been released on GitHub as Snippets, which ought to make it easier to develop apps for iOS, Mac OS, and TV OS. It is now also possible to remove the default Archive and About pages from the menu of your Hosted site; you can instead remake the pages using the redirect page feature and link to them from another part of your site. Lastly, Dialog has been added to the apps list on the New Post page along with new icons.


• • •

This was a fantastic start to the new year, with the core of the platform getting a variety of significant improvements and no sign of letting up from the focused, careful approach from the team. It’s fair to say that for a lot of people is now a more attractive social network to join and a much more robust option for hosting your blog. Meanwhile, Manton and Jean have already both spoken about their plans to further highlight the most important part of it all; people, specifically within the context of the community-driven aspect of

Elsewhere a variety of third-party development efforts have borne fruit and continue to extend the platform and make it much friendlier to more people. Best of all, the vast majority of this development is transparent and often seen via real people blogging as they work. With this kind of ecosystem developing there is little doubt 2019 will be at least as exciting as the previous year.

Enjoy your weekend!

– Simon