Social networks in the enterprise

Inner Circle

© Lead Image © fabio formaggio,

© Lead Image © fabio formaggio,

Article from Issue 213/2018

If you want to use social media and microblogging platforms, you do not need to leave your data sovereignty to external corporations. This month, we look at free decentralized software alternatives to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media and examine whether they are suitable for use in the enterprise and other organizations.

Social media and microblogging platforms can drive involvement and discussions between employees of a company and between employees and consumers. However, the suitability of well-known services such as Twitter or Facebook is limited. In addition to security concerns, data protection and user privacy are concerns, especially if the operators of the services then market their customers' data commercially.

Today, however, you can find services and software that promise improved security and – as open source projects – more transparency. In this article, I take a look at Diaspora [1], Friendica [2], GNU social [3], and Mastodon [4]. In addition to their general capabilities, I also examine the conditions for the internal use of these services in companies and organizations.


The requirements for a microblogging service in the enterprise differ significantly from those for purely private use. For example, certain encryption methods are unavoidable. Advertising, tracking, and other unwanted content have no place in microblogging at work. Cross-platform availability is also important for users. Thus, the short messages should end up not only on the smartphone, but also on the workplace computer, and the computer must be able not only to receive tweets and posts but to send them.


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