Can Diaspora really take down the likes of Facebook, the social networking site that despite being embroiled in privacy scandals is still the most popular social networking site in the world by far?
Diaspora was originally created by four college students as a summer project and back in May they set out to raise $10,000 to help them complete it.
They reached their initial goal in only a few days and the money just kept rolling in, to the tune of $200,000.
Funnily enough they even had a donation from Facebook founder Mark Zukerberg himself, although we don’t know how much. Zuckerberg said in an interview with Wired, that he thought Diaspora was “a cool idea”. So he’s obviously not feeling threatened then.
Now in a blog post, the Diaspora creators, Daniel Grippi, Maxwell Salzberg, Raphael Sofaer and Ilva Zhitomirskiy, have announced that they are ready to release Diaspora to the world.
“We have been coding. We have Diaspora working, we like it, and it will be open-sourced on September 15th” they wrote.
So what is different about Diaspora, and realistically, will it have any chance of competing with Facebook given the several hundred million profiles already deeply entrenched on that site?
There are three main points here. The first is that Diaspora will supposedly tackle the security issues surrounding social networking.
“We are spending a good chunk of time concentrating on building clear, contextual sharing. That means an intuitive way for users to decide, and not notice deciding, what content goes to their co-workers and what goes to their drinking buddies” they wrote in their blog.
“We know that’s a hard UI problem and we take it seriously” they said.
The second point is that Diaspora will be open-source “we are going to release our code as free software so everyone can make Diaspora even better” the team wrote in an earlier blog.
The third point is one that may possibly put a lot of folk off and that is you have to download Diaspora to your computer to use it.
Regardless, Diaspora started as a simple project and it took off in a way they could never have imagined it would.
So get your laptops ready for the 15th and we’ll see how well Diaspora really does when it has to stand on its own against the big boys.