Best Free and Open Source Social Networking Software

Unleashing the Best Free and Open Source Social Networking Software

Social networking is only going in one direction – up. The huge social networking sites such as Facebook, X 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 ratings chart capturing our recommendations. All of the software is free and open source.

Ratings chart

Click the links to learn more about each program.

Social Networking Software
MastodonSocial network server based on ActivityPub
BuddyPressWordPress plugin that offers social networking in a box
DiasporaPrivacy-aware, distributed, open source social network
Community BuilderJoomla social networking and Subscription Management software
MisskeyDecentralized social media platform
ElggAward-winning social networking engine
PleromaMicroblogging server software
HumHubFeature rich and highly flexible social network software
FirefishFork of Misskey
FriendicaCommunications platform that integrates social communication
GNU socialSocial communication software used in federated social networks
pump.ioSocial server with an ActivityStreams API
BootcampEnterprise social network

This article has been revamped in line with our recent announcement.

Best Free and Open Source SoftwareRead our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.

There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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