Diaspora Lives! But Will Facebook Die?

Ty Dunitz September 16 Facebook

If you’re at all a social network enthusiast, you’re probably interested in – or at least peripherally familiar with – Diaspora, the would-be Facebook killer that’s been the belle of the social networking debutante ball since its Kickstarter account went nuclear.

Last evening, Diaspora’s source code was released to developers (well, everyone, but I for one am a little coding-dumb), and the public at large was finally given a glimpse of the (possible) future of social networking.

For the moment, it looks a hell of a lot like Facebook.

Honestly, that’s not a bad thing. Facebook’s got the right idea, it’s just a little… I wanted to say cumbersome, but that’s totally not the right word. Frantic? Hang on, let me hit up thesaurus.com for a second.

Congested.

Facebook is congested. And that’s something Diaspora ain’t.

What most are wondering about, though, is Diaspora’s promise of true privacy and control, and whether or not it will ultimately provide a secure alternative to Facebook. Apparently, the Diaspora team haven’t taken their eyes off the prize, and cite the open source release of the project as a necessary step for an intrinsically fair, user-powered, secure product.

“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,” says the blog. Truer words perhaps never spoken.

Open-source projects, historically, do only so-so. Just the way of the world. But the Diaspora dudes have a plan for that, as well: Facebook integration on day one. Honestly, that was my biggest worry – that in switching to Diaspora, I’d be leaving my straggler friends behind. Now, it doesn’t matter.

Sold, guys. Sold.

If Diaspora ends up being half as functional as its sexy-as-shit interface looks, we might be seeing the future of social right here.

Written by Ty Dunitz

Ty is an illustrator who stays up too late, and has to wear glasses. You can follow him on Twitter if you want to (@glitchritual), but he's just gonna throw your stupid PR crap in the garbage, so don't email him.
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Comments
  • illz

    I don’t think it will replace facebook. There will be different versions of Diaspora for small sites, and maybe intranets.

    Seeing that there are many patents around social sites, could diaspora expand without using something that is patented? Would facebook sue if they did cross?

  • http://evologynow.wordpress.com Evology Now

    Hadn’t realized it was launching so soon! It’s exciting but I wonder realistically how many people will switch…

  • Dan

    Hmmm, Diaspora seems too complex a word for most of the people who use facebook.

    More than two syllables might be too taxing for idiots who spend their days saying
    “I just bought ham, lol!!!” and endlessly “liking,” and “poking,”

    It wont take off because Facebook is simply easier to say.

    Sadly.

    • Behroz Ali

      @Dan
      I second that. Diaspora is not a very simple word. That will, in some way, affect its publicity. Right now only a small fraction of the internet users, that are geeks and follow these technology related news, know about Diaspora. So it has to go a very long way before it can replace Facebook which has become a domestic word now.

      Then we have Twitter that became successful and attracted people in a very short period of time. I have two reasons for this. First that Twitter is very simple and is directed mainly toward ‘status lines.’
      Second that many celebrities and TV shows started using it. So it suddenly got popular around the world.

      Now a Facebook page and Twitter have become standard for the media. Because these have the most users. So Diaspora has to go a very long way before it can join the ranks of these social networking websites.