Automattic’s new Jetpack brings WordPress.com features to WordPress.org folks

22 Comments

Scott Berkun just announced the launch of Jetpack (no pun intended) on the WordPress.com blog. Jetpack, which lands at its very own fun microsite (pun totally intended), is a set of plugins that connect WordPress.org users with WordPress.com functionality. Jetpack currently includes WordPress.com Stats, Twitter Widget, Gravatar Hovercards, WP.me Shortlinks, Sharedaddy, LaTeX, After the Deadline, and Shortcode Embeds.

In the announcement Berkun described what drove the WordPress.com team to put Jetpack together:

WordPress.com has grown into one of the most amazing cloud architectures in the world. This has enabled blogs hosted here to have features unavailable on self-hosted WordPress installs. This makes us sad, since here at WordPress.com we want every WordPress install everywhere to be amazing.

Jetpack is compatible with any versions of WordPress 3.0.5 and beyond. It also requires a WordPress.com account for most of the features it brings. If you are currently using any of the plugins that Jetpack now brings with it, Installing and using Jetpack will prompt you to switch to the Jetpack-powered version. According to the Jetpack FAQ, all settings and options will move over seamlessly.

JetPack can be downloaded from the new website, but will also eventually be installed by default with many host’s one-click WordPress.org installs. According to TechCrunch, eventually more than 20 plugins will be included in Jetpack.

Matt Mullenweg also shared some background on the Jetpack launch post:

In short, it’s the vision I had for WordPress when I first founded Automattic five years ago finally coming to fruition (and from an amazing team). And we’re thrilled to be joined by great partners as well — Bluehost, DreamHost, Go Daddy, HostGator, Media Temple, and Network Solutions are launch partners. The one-click WordPress installs on all the largest web hosts in the world are now Jetpack-enabled, which means that the vast majority of people experiencing WordPress for the first time will have a seamless Jetpack experience.

Jetpack itself was teased by Mullenweg in a blog post earlier this year, which caused a bit of speculation here at WPCandy. Looks like we’ll have to go back and dig through the guesses to see who came closest!

One can’t help but think back to Mullenweg’s comments at LeWeb a couple of months back, when he spoke about wanting to unify “the dark matter of the web”. While Jetpack doesn’t do that in a big way now, I can’t help but wonder if this is one way he and Automattic hope to move in that direction, long term.

22 thoughts on “Automattic’s new Jetpack brings WordPress.com features to WordPress.org folks

  1. watch the town hall recording at WordPress.tv, especially when he is asked about a possible WordPress OS, it’s clear how Jetpack fits in to those plans
    what would be cool is a free WordPress.com CDN :)

  2. Pingback: Jetpack

  3. Out of curiosity when did requiring some sort of activation for functionality that doesn’t require 3rd party API interaction become kosher in the repository?

    While some of JetPack does require a WordPress.com account to work (WordPress.com Stats, After The Deadline, WP.me for instance), many of the features in JetPack are self contained within the JetPack plugin itself and don’t really require WordPress.com interaction to work yet none of them work unless you connect JetPack to WordPress.com through the API activation.

    Twitter Widget, Sharedaddy, Hovercards, LaTeX, and Shortcode Embeds are self contained and don’t need a WP.com account to work (that I can tell from inspecting the code) but the way JetPack works is NONE of it works unless you first connect it to your WordPress.com account.

    At the very least only the functionality that actually, you know, requires a WordPress.com account should be disabled unless you authorize it.

    Now I don’t have a problem with this, the plugin looks fantastic and it is simple to use. But I have to wonder if this would be allowed if it was anyone else. Sorry, the question has to be asked because it’s already been discussed so much in private with others in the commercial theme/plugin market.

    • Good question, and one that deserves an answer.

      From GNU’s Free Software Philosophy:

      The freedom to run the program means the freedom for any kind of person or organization to use it on any kind of computer system, for any kind of overall job and purpose, without being required to communicate about it with the developer or any other specific entity. In this freedom, it is the user’s purpose that matters, not the developer’s purpose; you as a user are free to run the program for your purposes, and if you distribute it to someone else, she is then free to run it for her purposes, but you are not entitled to impose your purposes on her.

      Also, I infer from JetPack’s description that the included Plugins will now only be updated as part of JetPack? (As in, the stand-alone versions of the bundled Plugins will no longer be updated?) From the JetPack FAQ:

      As we upgrade each of our individual plugins to be a part of Jetpack, we’ll prompt you to switch over to the new, Jetpack-powered version. Don’t worry about upgrading, we’ll automatically take care of carefully switching over all of your settings and options so that it’s the smoothest experience possible. Once you’ve upgraded to Jetpack, you can remove the older versions of those plugins.

      (Or perhaps I’m reading more into that than what it’s saying?)

      The worst part is, JetPack won’t even let me “activate”, because it, for some reason, thinks that my site isn’t “publicly accessible”.

      • I was a bi thrown off by the WP.com activation screen too — and the fact that that is necessary negates the use of the tool on a local host — which is a shame if only because I can see an intranet benefiting from the toolkit.

        Having said that, I think it’s a great service. I wrote an extensive how-to (and included a full screencast) for migrating from WordPress.com to WordPress.org about a month ago and had to compile a list of all the various plugins required to replicate WordPress.com functionality. This will be great for migrating users.

        I also like that Automattic is working with certain hosts to provide Jetpack installs — many of these features don’t need to be enabled out of the box (or included with core), but it makes for a much nicer new installation, especially for novice or less experienced users.

    • You don’t need WordPress.com account to use After The Deadline. It is run by the after the deadline servers.
      I discuss it and compare it to earlier incidents regarding activations in my post a WordPress.org hypocrisy.
      It is just WordPress stats and the shortlink that requires access to WordPress.com API.

  4. If anyone is still wondering how to disable wp.me that has been integrated with Jetpack with no option to disable, open jetpack/modules/shortlinks.php and comment out add_filter( ‘get_shortlink’, ‘wpme_get_shortlink_handler’, 1, 4 );. This will completely disable any wp.me links from being made.

    Hope this helps all!

  5. Pingback: Wordpress Plugin Jetpack for Wordpress.org | Web Design School: Web Design Tips

  6. I’m new at putting a website together, so I don’t have enough experience to know how great jetpack is or what it has to offer; however, I really feel they’re trying to shove this plugin down my throat with their pop-ups I can’t get rid of unless I act on the advert or delete the plugin. And of course, there isn’t an option to delete it from the plugins menu like every other plugin I have. Instead, I have to go to my cpanel to get rid of it, which I have already done. At this point, I really don’t care what it has to offer.

    • Join the club, man.

      I run a blog with three other guys (here), and it became increasingly apparent that they wanted us to use the plugin. Eventually, one of the other guys went ahead and installed it, just to see what would happen.

      So far so good. I actually like the increased functionality.

      I guess aggressive marketing works out sometimes.

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