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Nextcloud Social offers federated, trusted, big-tech-free social networking to tens of millions of users
Earlier in the year, when Elon Musk first talked about taking over Twitter, Nextcloud founder Frank Karlitschek already tweeted that Nextcloud would work on an alternative. Having monopolist tech billionaires own the platforms people communicate, connect and express their opinions on is unreasonable and unacceptable. Communication is too important and sensitive to be controlled by a few.
That is why we began working on Nextcloud Social, to make sure there would be a credible alternative by the time the deal closed. We will ship Nextcloud Social, a decentralized, federated social network app for Nextcloud, in Nextcloud by default – reaching our over 400.000 servers with many tens of millions of users.
Through Nextcloud Social, users can share their thoughts on an activity feed and subscribe to the feeds of others. The activity on Social shows on the users’ profile page and users can easily share photos and other documents from within other parts of Nextcloud.
Nextcloud servers can join the fediverse, an interconnected and decentralized network of independently operated servers communicating through the Activity Pub standard. This includes Mastodon servers, the popular open source Twitter competitor, letting users on Nextcloud and Mastodon share and discuss ideas.
“The Mastodon project is excited that Nextcloud users can now join the fediverse, potentially growing the decentralized web by an order of magnitude”Eugen Rochko, Mastodon founder
The low barrier to entry offered by Nextcloud, combined with the hundreds of thousands of servers already online and offerings of major hosting providers create a large user base that give the fediverse the critical mass it needs to be successful.
Without oversight by one large corporation or a single government, rather implementing policies unique to each server, the critical need for moderation is provided for while distributing and decentralizing the decision-making power.
Nextcloud Social is available as an alpha version for earlier releases, with an update to Hub 3 coming soon. The team at Nextcloud is working with the community to add new features and give users a way out of the Big Tech sandbox. We will make the updated Nextcloud Social a default part of Nextcloud later this year.