Diaspora was launched in 2010 as a Kickstarter project . Since 2011, the open-source project has been supported by the Diaspora Foundation and refined by the community. It offers many of the same functions found on Facebook: Bulletin boards and chat windows enable both time-shifted and real-time communications. Through the use of personal groups (so-called “aspects”), users can make decisions about the type of information they want to share with others (e.g., family, colleagues, friends). Hashtags, mentions, reshares and likes facilitate interaction with other members. When users register , they also have the option of using a pseudonym rather than their real name.
The distinctive feature of Diaspora is its decentralized approach: Unlike Facebook, users do not store their data on the company’s central servers, but can rather set up personal local servers known as “pods.” As a result, they always have control over their data. Diaspora also offers public pods where anybody may open an account. However, caution must be exercised here, as hackers could misuse a public pod they control to tap into data. Diaspora contains no advertising and is licensed under the GNU AGPLv3 licence. It has at least 660,000 members . A number of client apps are available for Android users, however, there is currently no app for iOS.