Recently Facebook has been under a lot of pressure to re-structure some of its settings particularly in relation to privacy. Such was the growing frustration among certain users that a ‘Quit Facebook Day’ was scheduled for May 31, to encourage those who are “sick of Facebook’s lack of respect for your data” to avoid using the site for one day. Although, the one-day ‘strike action’ did not get the desired result, it appears to have motivated a group of New York University students – Maxwell, Daniel, Raphael and Ilya – to propose developing a “privacy-aware, personally controlled, do-it-all, open source ” alternative to Facebook.
Now the group has successfully raised about $200,642 (£136,000) from its supporters through Kickstarter, a fundraising Website. They hope to use these funds to build the new social-network technology “in the coming months”. The group originally planned to raise $10,000 but received overwhelming support from about 6,500 donors that raised the final amount to over $200,000.
It is difficult to predict how successful this project will be although one thing is sure – anything that will draw the attention of millions of die-hard Facebook users’ attention away has got to be really good! Surprisingly, Facebook also seems open to the idea as reported on Wired which reported that the founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, also donated to the Diaspora project and thinks “it is a cool idea”.
What does Diaspora need to do in order to compete with Facebook’s approximately 500 million users?