Peergos launches decentralized & encrypted social media

We've written before about the problems with existing social media and how we think they should be solved. After a few months hard at work, we're launching our decentralized and end-to-end encrypted social network! Excited already? Head over to our our beta to claim your username. Places are currently limited, so if you're asked to join our waiting list, don't worry, we'll be in contact soon to get you signed up.

Private social media.

As you would expect from any social media app, you can create posts with text, images, video or audio and choose how the post is shared - with your friends only, or all your followers. Commenting on a post will re-share and increase the audience for the original post in line with the author's intent (friends or followers) without exposing anyone's social network. You can't see all the friends of someone, even if you are friends with them. See the gif below for how to access your social feed.

To access the Peergos social network, log in, click on apps, and then the social feed icon.

So why an encrypted and decentralized alternative? There are many problems for both society and individuals caused by current social media - including huge data breaches to increased polarisation and threats to democracy. We believe social media should be designed with the interests of the end-user in mind and that a fundamental requirement is agency for people over what they see and who they interact with. In Peergos, you only see content shared with you by your friends or people you follow. End-to-end encryption of your social feed means that mass data gathering and surveillance is not possible. Without the ability to gather data, machine learning algorithms cannot be trained and you cannot be targeted with content or ads (sorry not sorry, Cambridge Analytica).

What about decentralization? If you've used email then you've used something similar called a federated system (federation is a weaker form of decentralization). Anyone can run an email server, and those servers can all talk to each other. Changing your email address is painful though because your identity is tied to your hosting provider. If you want to move from Gmail to another provider you need to tell all your contacts about your new email address.

In a decentralized system such as Peergos, identity is self-sovereign and under your ownership. If you want to move to a new server, you can do this whilst keeping all your friends, followers and data. All links continue to work unmodified. This is because data is retrieved using content-addressed and public key-addressed requests thanks to the magic of building on IPFS. There is no location-based addressing anywhere in our protocol (including DNS). You're even able to change servers if your original host server becomes malicious. No other social network can do this currently!

Finally, we've wrapped all this in a humane user interface that's explicitly designed not to optimize for user engagement addiction. Social media should enhance your life, not become your life.

Want to be part of the future? Join the waiting list for our beta to claim your username. Free accounts currently start off with 200 MiB of space, which is enough to try it all out and send a few memes. If you want more, you can upgrade and get 50 GiB for £5 per month. This is inline with keeping our business model aligned with our users interests - if you're not paying for the product, then you are the product.

In the meantime, you can try it out on our demo server. Don't forget to let us know what you think. We're always looking for feedback, so either drop us a line or come say hi in our Matrix chatroom.

This work was built as part of our grant from the Next Generation Internet program (NGI POINTER).

NGI Pointer NGI Pointer

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme within the framework of the NGI-POINTER Project funded under grant agreement No 871528


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