GNU social

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Originating from the GNU project, GNU social is a project that offers free and open-source software. The foundation of this software can be traced back to the GNU FM project, which was spearheaded by Matt Lee, Donald Robertson, and Deborah Nicholson. Initially known as Laconia, the software underwent several name modifications, transitioning to StatusNet in its 0.8.1 version, before finally adopting the name GNU social to echo its connection with the GNU project. An important milestone for the platform was the addition of OStatus support in its 0.9.0 version, and its subsequent merger with StatusNet and Free Social in 2013. The platform’s usage by notable services such as highlights its influence. A wealth of documentation on GNU social can be found in various sources, providing a comprehensive history of its evolution. Its integration with other social networking services and platforms, like Mastodon, further emphasizes its importance in the landscape of distributed social networking.

GNU social (Wikipedia)

GNU social (previously known as StatusNet and Laconica) is a free and open source microblogging server written in PHP that implemented the OStatus and ActivityPub standard for interoperability between installations. While offering functionality similar to Twitter, GNU social seeks to provide the potential for open and distributed communications between microblogging communities. Enterprises and individuals can install and control their own services and data.

GNU social
Other namesStatusNet
Original author(s)Evan Prodromou et al.
Developer(s)Diogo Cordeiro and GNU social Developers
Final release
1.20.9 Edit this on Wikidata / 22 June 2019
Preview release
2.0.0beta0 Edit this on Wikidata / 18 July 2021
Written inPHP
Operating systemCross-platform
Available inMore than 25 languages.
TypeWeb application framework

At its peak, GNU social had been deployed on hundreds of interoperating servers, however has since fallen into disuse as competing platforms like Mastodon have taken its position as the most popular federated microblogging server.

Later on in its lifespan, the project split into two separate branches, v2 and v3. As of August 15, 2022, there had been no new commits to the repository for the v2 branch, while the v3 branch stopped receiving commits not long after, in November 25, 2022, making the project essentially defunct.

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