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Facebook rival Diaspora to launch in October

Facebook rival Diaspora to launch in October

Community-funded Facebook rival Diaspora released its first code to developers and provided screenshots of

the site, BBC News informed today. The self-proclaimed "privacy-aware, personally-controlled" social network might be launching the first product as early as October 2010.

The site was started as a project by four New York University students at the beginning of the year, when Facebook was criticized for its privacy policy. Max Salzberg, one of Diaspora's co-founders, said that the project was aimed at granting users with the ability to control what they share, BBC News wrote. The project may not be "bug-free or feature-complete but it [is] an important step for putting us, the users, in control," the team said in a blog.

The Guardian described the features available on Diaspora, mentioning that in addition to normal social network features the site might provide users with Facebook integration, internationalization and data portability.However, the inteface may be inspired directly by Facebook, the Guardian suggested.

Unlike Facebook, the site is "decentalised," said PC World. Information like photos and status updates is stored on a user's "seed" (i.e. personal online server) and may be shared with friends. The team is striving to include a hosted service, similar to's blog platform.

The team voiced concerns about Facebook's future, pointing out in a video that once the social network giant expands and reaches the likes of MySpace, personal data ("our communication, our photos, our comments") might be used however Facebook would want to use it.

Nate Elliot, principal analyst at research group Forrester, said that while Diaspora was a "great concept" but that if privacy was the sole advantage of the site, it might be difficult to convince users to shift from Facebook and its network strength.

"Facebook has been very good at recognizing what is good about their competitors and pulling in those best features," Elliot said, "If Facebook genuinely see this as a threat or see that people really like it as an idea, it may influence what they do for privacy. That would be a win for the [Diaspora] team."

Financial backing came from online fundraiser Kickstarter, amounting to US$ 200,642 from around 6,500 individuals. BBC News speculated that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg also donated to Diaspora's cause.

Images taken from


Alisa Zykova


2010-09-16 19:53

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