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June 3, 2010

Diaspora alternative Facebook project snags $200,000 funding

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by Darren Allan

Four enterprising US students have managed to secure over $200,000 funding to set up an open source Facebook alternative.

Diaspora, as it’s known, has been launched off the back of the recent furore over Facebook’s privacy policy.

The New York Times wrote an article on their concept and initial aim to raise $10,000 to keep them going while coding the project – although they’ve ended up exceeding that target by a factor of twenty, in less than a month.

Diaspora will let users store their own data, and have full control over what happens to that information, and who it’s shared with.

The crew of four will be locking themselves away over the summer and constructing Diaspora while living off takeaways and caffeine drinks (no stereotypes here, honest guv’nor).

Are we witnessing the genesis of a real rival to Facebook? There’s a hell of a way to go, for sure. And of course Mark Zuckerberg has recently introduced a revamp of his site’s privacy policy which may go some way to assuaging concerns amongst users.

That said, achieving this level of funding and publicity inside a month flat is pretty impressive, so you never know…

Diaspora, in case you were wondering, means a “dispersion of people from their original homeland” (i.e. Facebook).

We’d have plumped for a less highbrow alternative name, something like “Footmagazine”.

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