GNU social

GNU social
Screenshot of a GNU social website with Swedish localization.
Original author(s) Evan Prodromou
Developer(s) Evan Prodromou, Matt Lee, Mikael Nordfeldth and GNU social Developers
Stable release
1.1.2[1] / October 25, 2014 (2014-10-25)
Preview release
Written in PHP
Operating system Cross-platform
Available in More than 25 languages.[2]
Type Web application framework
License GNU Affero General Public License[3]

GNU social (previously known as StatusNet and once known as Laconica[4]) is a free and open source software microblogging server written in PHP that implements the OStatus standard for interoperation between installations. While offering functionality similar to Twitter, GNU social 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.[5][6]

GNU social has been deployed on hundreds of interoperating servers.[7]


Standard features

  • Publish updates via an XMPP/Jabber client[8]
  • OpenID provider and authentication
  • Federation support via the OStatus protocol
  • A Twitter-compatible API
  • Categorization using hashtags
  • Groups, using bangtags
  • Localization and translations of UI (using Gettext)
  • Automatic, self-hosted URL-shortening
  • Attachments (add files, images, video, audio to dents)
  • Attached media files available in podcast format
  • Embedding of content from other sites, like YouTube, Flickr, etc.

Available features


The first deployment (known 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.[12][13]

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,[14] Consequently, would also be changed to All in the last year before May 1, 2013 active accounts would be migrated.[15] On July 10, 2013 switched over to running[16]

June 8, 2013 it was announced StatusNet would be merged into the GNU social project, along with Free Social.[17]

The service is interoperable with the federated social network Mastodon and other OStatus platforms.[18]


StatusNet was renamed from Laconica coinciding with the release of version 0.8.1 (a.k.a. "Second Guessing") of the StatusNet software.[19]

StatusNet's name "simply reflects what our software does: send status updates into your social network."[4]

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 tradition on message size, thus they are all de facto laconic phrases.

See also


  1. Nordfeldth, Mikael (25 Oct 2014). "GNU social XSS vulnerability, version bumped to v1.1.2". social-discuss (Mailing list). Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  2. "Translating:GNU social localization". Retrieved 2015-02-08.
  3. "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.
  4. 1 2 Laconica is now StatusNet "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2009-08-31., retrieved 2009-10-04
  5. Terdiman, Daniel (2008-10-6) Taking on Twitter with open-source software, CNet. Retrieved 2009-1-3.
  6. Bastien, Malcolm (2008-8-28) Why Laconica Means Big Things For Corporate Micro Blogging Archived 2009-01-25 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 2009-1-3.
  12. StatusNet 0.9.0 Archived 2012-07-17 at
  13. StatusNet 0.9.0 Released Archived 2012-07-20 at
  15. Evan Prodromou (2013-03-26). "Note by Evan Prodromou". Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  16. Evan Prodromou (2013-07-10). "Note by Evan Prodromou". Retrieved 2013-07-11.
  17. "GNU social". 2013-06-08.
  18. "tootsuite/mastodon". GitHub. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
  19. StatusNet 0.8.1 (2009-8-28) "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-12. Retrieved 2013-01-12., StatusNet Wiki Retrieved 2009-8-29.
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