A polyglot messaging service

A polyglot messaging service.


Sockethub is a polyglot (speaking many different protocols and APIs) messaging service for social and other interactive messaging applications. Not only does it assist unhosted and noBackend web application developers by providing server-independent, server-side functionality, but it also can be used as a back-end tool (invisible to the user) for many different applications, large and small.

Example uses of sockethub are: writing and receiving messages (SMTP, Facebook, Twitter, Diaspora), instant messaging (XMPP, AIM, MSN, IRC), discovery (WebFinger, RDF(a)). The architecture of sockethub is extensible and supports easy implementation of additional 'platforms' to carry out tasks, sockethub can be run on your own server, or provided as a service by a service provider, or app store.


See the Sockethub wiki for documentation.


We use Activity Streams to map the various social networks terms to a set of 'verbs' which identify the underlying action. For example,for a facebook friend request/accept cycle, we would use the activity stream verbs 'request-friend', 'remove-friend', 'make-friend'.

Below is a list of platforms we're currently working on and their activity stream verbs (when appropriate) or verbs that are specific to sockethub, both the completed and not yet implemented ones. They all map to the platforms actions.

  • to port Email (SMTP, IMAP) - send fetch (imap)
  • to port XMPP - send request-friend remove-friend make-friend
  • to port Facebook - post send fetch request-friend remove-friend make-friend like
  • to port Twitter - post follow unfollow send fetch
  • Feeds (RSS, Atom) - fetch
  • IRC - send join leave observe update
  • - post follow unfollow send fetch
  • WhatsApp - send request-friend remove-friend make-friend
  • WebFinger - search
  • RDF - search fetch
  • Bitcoin - (to be evaluated) send receive ...
  • FireFoxSync - (to be evaluated)
  • WebRTC - (to be evaluated)


$ npm install


$ DEBUG=sockethub* bin/sockethub --examples

You should then be able to browse to http://localhost:10550 and try out the examples.

Environment Variables

  • PORT Defaults to 10550
  • HOST Defaults to localhost
  • DEBUG Specify the namespace to console log, ie. sockethub* will print all sockethub related debug statements, whereas * will also print any other modules debug statements that use the debug module.

Command-line params

  --help       : this help screen
  --info       : displays some basic runtime info
  --examples   : enabled examples page and serves helper files like jquery
  --host       : hostname to bind to
  --port       : port to bind to


Sockethub is licensed under the LGPL


Project maintained by Nick Jennings

Logo design by Jan-Christoph Borchardt

Sponsored by NLNET