Diaspora, open-source Facebook-like network launches alpha testing

Diaspora open-source social network

The open-source social networking site called Diaspora just opened up its site to a limited number of alpha testers. Diaspora is the result of a backlash to Facebook’s closed network and sometimes contentious privacy policies. Two of Diaspora’s main goals are to let users own all of their data and decide how and with who it gets shared.

Diaspora and other upstarts obviously face (pardon the pun) a competitive mountain in the way of Facebook and its over 500 million users. Arguably, if Diaspora had been active when Facebook was going through some growing pains regarding its privacy policies and controls, they may have been able to siphon off some of its users.

However, even that series of missteps wasn’t enough to push any significant number of users away from Facebook. And let’s be honest – there are still many users who are either not aware of and/or don’t care about what and how much they ‘share’ with the world.

Facebook’s advantage still lies in the fact that you need a Facebook account in order to communicate with other FBers. That door may only open up a crack if Diaspora and/or others like it are able to build up enough of a following. Diaspora users may just be praying for FB to slip up with their privacy policies once more or for there to be a data loss debacle of biblical proportions.

As that’s unlikely or at least not about to have much of an effect on Facebook’s numbers, the end result may just be that the handful of folks out there who are interested in more control of their data and privacy will have both Diaspora and Facebook accounts and simply reduce what their share on the latter network.