Social networking is only going in one direction – up. The huge social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have become a necessity for businesses. They increasingly recognise the importance of incorporating social networking features with their content strategy. The benefits are broad and wide. Social networking helps to increase brand awareness, improve social signals, offers word-of-mouth advertising, and boosts audience reach and influence.
Social networking’s appeal is even more notable among consumers. Social media helps individuals follow breaking news, keep up with family, friends, or colleagues, as well as contributing to online debates, and learning from others. Social networking sites have been rapidly adopted by children and, especially, teenagers and young people worldwide. 98% of 18-24 year old use social media in the UK.
The open source community plays an important role in the social networking space. It helps individuals create their own social network easily. With the software featured in this article, users can take more control of their site, and help establish and maintain a connection between users of the site. New social networking platforms keep appearing from every corner. Unlike newcomers, all of the mature software packages featured here are professional, have a good feature set, and are easy to install and configure.
To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled the following list of open source social networking software.
Here’s our recommendations. They are all free and open source.
Let’s explore the 11 social networking packages at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources.
|Social Networking Software|
|Mastodon||Social network server based on ActivityPub|
|diaspora||Privacy-aware, distributed, open source social network|
|Community Builder||Joomla social networking and Subscription Management software|
|BuddyPress||WordPress plugin that offers social networking in a box|
|Elgg||Award-winning social networking engine|
|friendica||Communications platform that integrates social communication|
|Drupal Commons||Community collaboration website in a box built on Drupal|
|HumHub||Feature rich and highly flexible social network software|
|pump.io||Social server with an ActivityStreams API|
|Bootcamp||Enterprise social network|
|Oxwall||Community setup bundled with essential social networking plugins|
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Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.