9 Decentralized, P2P and Open Source Alternatives to Mainstream Social Media Platforms Like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Reddit

You probably are aware that Facebook was under fire for potentially sharing the user data from its ‘end-to-end encrypted’ chat service WhatsApp.

The controversial privacy policy change in 2021 made countless people switch to WhatsApp alternatives.

Privacy cautious people had seen it coming a long time ago. After all, Facebook paid $19 billion to buy a mobile app like WhatsApp that hardly made any money at that time. Now it’s time for Facebook to get the return on its $19 billion investment. So, they probably plan to share your data with advertisers so that you get more personalized (or invasive) ads.

If you are fed up with the “my way or highway” attitude of the big tech like Facebook, Google, and Twitter, perhaps you may try some alternative social media platforms.

These alternative social platforms are open source, use a decentralized approach with P2P or Blockchain technologies, and you may be able to self-host some of them.

Open source and decentralized social networks

1984 Quote
Image Credit: Datonel on DeviantArt

I’ll be honest with you here. These alternative platforms may not give you the same kind of experience you are accustomed to, but these platforms would not infringe on your privacy and freedom of speech. That’s a trade-off.

1. Minds

Alternative to: Facebook and YouTube
Features: Open-Source codebase, Blockchain
Self-host: No

On Minds, you can post videos, blogs, and images and set statuses. You can also message and video chat securely with groups or directly with friends. Trending feeds and hashtags allow you to discover articles of your interest.

That’s not it. You also have the option to earn tokens for your contributions. These tokens can be used to upgrade your channel. Creators can receive direct payments in USD, Bitcoin, and Ether from fans.

2. Aether

Alternative to: Reddit
Features: Open Source, P2P
Self-host: No

Aether Reddit Alternative

Aether is an open-source, P2P platform for self-governing communities with auditable moderation and mod elections.

The content on Aether is ephemeral in nature and it is kept only for six months unless someone saves it. Since it is P2P, there is no centralized servers.

An interesting feature of Aether is its democratic communities. Communities elect mods and can impeach them by votes.

3. Mastodon

Alternative to: Twitter
Features: Open Source, Decentralized
Self-host: Yes

Mastodon

Mastodon is already pretty popular among FOSS enthusiasts. We have covered Mastodon as an open source Twitter alternative in the past, and you can also follow us on Mastodon.

Mastodon isn’t a single website like Twitter, it’s a network of thousands of communities operated by different organizations and individuals that provide a seamless social media experience. Also known as “Fediverse”.

You can host your Mastodon instance and choose to connect it with other Mastodon instances, or you simply join one of the existing Mastodon instances like Mastodon Social.

4. LBRY

Alternative to: YouTube
Features: Open Source, Decentralized, Blockchain
Self-host: No

LBRY inreface

At the core, LBRY is a blockchain-based decentralization protocol. Moreover protocol, you get a digital marketplace powered by its own cryptocurrency.

Though LBRY allows creators to offer various kinds of digital content like movies, books, and games, it is essentially promoted as a YouTube alternative. You can access the video-sharing platform on Odysee.

We have covered LBRY on It’s FOSS in the past, and you may read that for more details. If you are joining LBRY, don’t forget to follow It’s FOSS there through the link below.

5. Pixelfed

Alternative to: Instagram
Features: Decentralized, Open-Source
Self-host: Yes

pixelfed decentralized

Pixelfed utilizes the same underlying open protocol used by Mastodon, i.e., ActivityPub.

So, you can interact with Mastodon instances through Pixelfed as well. I haven’t tried it yet, but theoretically, you should be able to do that. You should find several active Pixelfed instances to sign up.

Pixelfed is a simple alternative to Instagram if you want control over your data and privacy. You get to control the privacy of your images without any advertisements in the platform.

You get the same basics of a photo-sharing platform. However, you do not have an algorithm powering the timeline, it follows a chronological order, without collecting any of your data for a personalized experience.

6. Peertube

Alternative to: YouTube
Features: Decentralized, P2P
Self-host: Yes

Peertube Federation Multiplicity

Developed by French company Framasoft, PeerTube is a decentralized video streaming platform. PeerTube uses the BitTorrent protocol to share bandwidth between users.

PeerTube aims to resist corporate monopoly. It does not rely on ads and does not track you. Keep in mind that your IP address is not anonymous here.

There are various instances of PeerTube available where you can host your videos, or host them yourself. Some instances may charge money, while most are free.

7. Diaspora

Alternative to: Facebook
Features: Decentralized, Open Source
Self-host: Yes

Diaspora was one of the earliest decentralized social networks. This was back in 2010 and Diaspora was touted as a Facebook alternative. It did get some deserving limelight in its initial years, but it got confined to only a handful of niche members.

Similar to Mastodon, Diaspora is composed of pods. You can register with a pod or host your own pod. The Big Tech doesn’t own your data, you do.

8. Dtube

Alternative to: YouTube
Features: Decentralized, Blockchain
Self-host: No

Dtube

Dtube is a blockhain based decentralized YouTube clone. I use the word YouTube clone because the interface is way too similar to YouTube.

Like most other blockchain-based social networks, Dtube is governed by DTube Coins (DTC) that the creator earns when someone watches or interact with their content. The coins can be used to promote the content or cashed out from partner crypto exchanges.

9. Signal

Alternative to: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger
Features: Open Source
Self-host: No

Signal Messenger ScreenShot

Unlike the end-to-end encrypted chats in WhatsApp, Signal doesn’t track you, share your data and invade your privacy.

Signal rose to fame when Edward Snowden endorsed it. It got even more famous when Elon Musk tweeted about it after WhatsApp’s controversial privacy policy change sharing user data with Facebook.

Signal uses its open-source Signal protocol to give you end-to-end encrypted messages and calls.

KARMA (Discontinued)

Alternative to: Instagram
Features: Decentralized, Blockchain
Self-host: No

Blockchain based Instagram alternative Karma App

Here’s another blockchain-based social network governed by cryptocurrency.

KARMA is an Instagram clone built on top of open-source blockchain platform, EOSIO. Every like and share your content gets, earns you KARMA tokens. You can use these tokens to boost your content or convert it to real money through one of the partner crypto exchanges.

KARMA is a mobile-only app and is available on Play Store and App Store.

What else?

There are some other platforms that are not open source or decentralized, but they respect your privacy and free speech.

  • MeWe: Alternative to Facebook
  • Voice: NFTs to empower digital artists
  • ProtonMail: Alternative to Gmail

There is also Element messenger based on Matrix protocol which you can try.

I know there are probably a dozen other alternative social media platforms. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments.

If you had to choose one of the platforms from the list, which one would you choose?

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  • which platform can we embed into our own private app that best represents a media feed .we want to use thsi room as an extension of the app therefore using the same login.we do not want a seperate log in and our members need to be able to come into this feed and back to our home menu.which is the best way of achieving this