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This article was published on September 8, 2011

Diaspora insists it’s not dead, takes credit for Google+ and Facebook features

Diaspora insists it’s not dead, takes credit for Google+ and Facebook features
Martin Bryant
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Martin Bryant

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Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

Remember Diaspora? If you believed the hype, it was supposed to be our saviour from the privacy flaws of Facebook – a distributed, decentralized social network. However, since it launched with plenty of press coverage and funding last year, it’s disappeared into the shadows and is widely regarded as an idea that has its time but has lost momentum.

Not so, say the people behind the project in an email sent to users today. In an email entitled ‘We are making a difference’, Diaspora’s co-founders appear to take credit for the Circles feature in Google+ and the recent privacy changes made by Facebook.

“We’re proud that Google+ imitated one of our core features, aspects, with their circles,” they write. “And now Facebook is at last moving in the right direction with user control over privacy, a move spurred not just by Google+, but more fundamentally by you and thousands of other donors, as well as hundreds of thousands of people who’ve lined up to try Diaspora.”

However, despite its larger rivals taking supposed inspiration from Diaspora, the email goes on to make clear that its founders believe it has a future

Here’s a quick preview of some of the other ways:

  • We’ll make the social web more fun than it is today.
  • Our distributed design gives you the security of owning your own identity and data.
  • This also gives you the freedom to do what you want online.
  • Our ecosystem provides the commons, the connective tissue for an evolving social web.

Diaspora has never pitched itself as direct competitor to the likes of Facebook – more an alternative model for how social networks could be designed. However, it’s gained a reputation from observers as “that quirky Facebook alternative that never quite made it.” Whether there’s a need or desire for its product or not, it seems there’s life in the Diaspora team yet.

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