Social networks in the enterprise


Friendica [2] is the all-rounder among microblogging platforms. Like other freely licensed microblogging platforms, the AGPL software, continuously developed since 2010, is organized decentrally in instances that each run on their own servers. Friendica has a modular structure, to which the user adds functions via plugins.

Of all the features, the good interconnectivity of the service stands out: Friendica also supports GNU social, Diaspora, Twitter, and accounts [7]. A user can operate several profiles at Friendica and – if they register them under the same email address – switch between them. Numerous other platforms, on the other hand, commit users to their own offerings. Only independently developed clients like Choqok [8] allow you to use these platforms with external software and create accounts for them.

Friendica also lets you to post multimedia content. As a rule, the web browser is used as the user interface, but third-party clients are also increasingly integrating with Friendica (e.g., Choqok since version 1.6). Apps for mobile devices are also available.

Getting Started

If you want to become active at Friendica, you can – but don't have to – set up your own server. The project's website maintains a detailed list of decentralized public access nodes [9] offering various features. Users simply log on to one of the servers from a web browser. You can do this on the respective start pages using the Sign up now or Create account buttons in the browser window.

Friendica requires only a full name (even fictitious ones are allowed), a nickname, and the user's email address to register. If a user profile already exists on another Friendica server, the user can also import this. After clicking on Sign up now, the service automatically sends email with the newly generated password to the user. With this and your username, you can then log on.


Configuring the basic settings for your profile involves adding an avatar and optionally entering an address and keywords. These are keywords with which a user outlines their interests and hobbies. If you then search for one or more keywords on the platform, you should be able to find the respective user. The dialog also lets you hide contacts and friends. In this way, other users do not see with whom a participant communicates.

Once you have set up and saved the profile, you should click on the username in the upper right corner of the window and select the Settings option in the context menu. Then replace the password assigned by the system with a personal password. In Basic Settings you can localize your setup, so the menus and input fields appear in a language of your choice.

In the Security and Privacy Settings menu, you can enable or disable options. Do you want the profile to be visible to other users or on other servers in the network? Should other users be allowed to write on your bulletin board? Should third parties be allowed to tag their own contributions? Some options for private messages and spam prevention can also be set. All configurations can be switched on and off by slide control.

Friendica also offers the option in the settings dialogs to define a default group membership for new contacts and configure notifications in a separate dialog (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Friendica's main window appears clearly structured.

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