Diaspora releases code to open source Facebook

Curious about the open-source Facebook clone? The popular social networking site’s open-source competitor Diaspora launched its developer release on Wednesday, making its source code available to the public.

“This is now a community project and development is open to anyone with the technical expertise who shares the vision of a social network that puts users in control,” the Diaspora team wrote in a blog post.

Diaspora’s goal is to create an “intrinsically more private social network,” a reference to Facebook’s privacy missteps and overly complex controls.

“Even the most powerful, granular set of dropdowns and checkboxes will never give people control over where their content is going, let alone give them ownership of their digital self,” according to the blog post.

Initally described as a distributed network, Diaspora will be a collection of computers – “seeds” connecting directly with each other. There will be no central server in the middle managing connections and or sitting on all the user data. The seed aggregates information from other sources, including Facebook and Twitter.

The available Diaspora screenshots show a very Facebook like interface. The site currently allows users to share status updates and post photos in near real-time. You can also find people across the Internet regardless of your seed’s location.

Founded by four students, the team raised necessary funding via fundraising site Kickstarter. They eventually raised $200,642 from nearly 6,500 people.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, reportedly donated to the project.

Diaspora plans an alpha release for October. The team hopes to include internationalization and Facebook integration by then to make it easy for people to take control of and move their data to the new network.

The code is hosted on Github, but be warned there are still security holes and bugs.

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