GNU social

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GNU social
GNU social web frontend with Swedish localization.png
Screenshot of a GNU social website with Swedish localization.
Original author(s) Evan Prodromou
Developer(s) Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Stable release 1.1.1[1] / July 16, 2013 (2013-07-16)
Preview release 1.1.2[2] (alpha) / February 8, 2015; 46 days ago (2015-02-08)[3]
Written in PHP
Operating system Cross-platform
Available in More than 25 languages.[4]
Type Web application framework
License Affero GPLv3+[5]

GNU social (most recently called StatusNet, and previously Laconica[6]) is a FOSS microblogging server written in PHP that implements the OStatus standard for interoperation between installations. While offering functionality similar to Twitter, StatusNet seeks to provide the potential for open, inter-service and distributed communications between microblogging communities. Enterprises and individuals can install and control their own services and data.[7][8]

Notable current deployments[edit]

GNU social has been deployed on hundreds of interoperating servers.[9] Notable public deployments are, and


  • Updates via a XMPP/Jabber/Google Talk client
  • OpenID authentication
  • Federation support, which provides the ability to subscribe to notices by users on a remote service through the OStatus protocol
  • SMS updates and notifications
  • A Twitter-compatible API
  • Hashtags
  • Multilingual interface (using Gettext)
  • Cross-posting to Twitter
  • Facebook integration
  • Groups (Bangtags)
  • Automatic URL-shortening
  • Geolocations and maps
  • Live update of stream
  • Attachments (add files, images, video, audio to dents)
  • Embedding of content from other sites, like YouTube, Flickr, etc.
  • Implementation of Salmon (protocol)
  • Localised in dozens of languages on (now discontinued)

Upcoming priority features were:[10]

  • More Ajax incorporation in the interface
  • Cross-posting to Jaiku, Plurk, etc.
  • Pull messages from Twitter, Plurk, Jaiku, etc.


The first deployment (as Laconica) was the open-microblogging service. Hosted by original StatusNet creators StatusNet Inc., offered free accounts to the public and serves as the co-flagship (along with for the installable version of StatusNet. The site has migrated to

Version 0.9.0, released March 3, 2010, added support for OStatus, a new distributed update standard superseding OpenMicroBlogging.[11][12]

In December 2012, Evan Prodromou announced "a wind-down" of the hosted service so he could concentrate on a new open source activity stream server,[13] Consequently, will also be changed to All in the last year before May 1, 2013 active accounts will be migrated.[14] On July 10, 2013 switched over to running[15]

June 8, 2013 it was announced StatusNet would be adopted by and renamed GNU social.[16]


StatusNet was renamed from Laconica coinciding with the release of version 0.8.1 (aka "Second Guessing") of the StatusNet software.[17]

StatusNet's name "simply reflects what our software does: send status updates into your social network."[6]

Laconica's name was a reference to the Laconic phrase, a particularly concise or terse statement the likes of which are famously attributed to the leaders of Sparta (Laconia being the Greek region containing Sparta). In microblogging, all messages are forced to be very short due to the ~140 character limit on message size, thus they are all de facto laconic phrases.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ StatusNet 1.1.1 README
  2. ^ GNU social 1.1.2 alpha README
  3. ^ "Commits in social/mainline:1.1.x". gitorious. Retrieved 2015-02-09. 
  4. ^ "Translating:GNU social localization". Retrieved 2015-02-08. 
  5. ^ "README file". Retrieved 2015-02-09. ...under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. 
  6. ^ a b Laconica is now StatusNet [1], retrieved 2009-10-04
  7. ^ Terdiman, Daniel (2008-10-6) Taking on Twitter with open-source software, CNet. Retrieved 2009-1-3.
  8. ^ Bastien, Malcolm (2008-8-28) Why Laconica Means Big Things For Corporate Micro Blogging. Retrieved 2009-1-3.
  9. ^ List of independent GNU social servers
  10. ^ Laconica-dev Roadmap for the near future[dead link]
  11. ^ StatusNet 0.9.0
  12. ^ StatusNet 0.9.0 Released
  13. ^
  14. ^ Evan Prodromou (2013-03-26). "Note by Evan Prodromou". Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  15. ^ Evan Prodromou (2013-07-10). "Note by Evan Prodromou". Retrieved 2013-07-11. 
  16. ^ "GNU social". 2013-06-08. 
  17. ^ StatusNet 0.8.1 (2009-8-28) [2], StatusNet Wiki Retrieved 2009-8-29.

External links[edit]