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Facebook rival Diaspora announces launch date

Diaspora, the open-source alternative to Facebook that was announced in the wake of Facebook's privacy mess early this summer, has confirmed it will launch on 15 September.

The "privacy-aware, personally-controlled" social network, is being created by four student friends from New York who sought to finance the project through funding site Kickstarter.

Initially, the four hoped to raise around $10,000 to subsidise their efforts over the summer.

The group's fundraising campaign gained a great deal of publicity - due in large measure to the unpopularity of changes Facebook made to its privacy settings.

In the event, they raised a massive $200,642 from nearly 6,500 investors - including, reportedly, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

In a blog post yesterday entitled 'An overdue update', the team behind Diaspora - Ilya, Raphael, Maxwell and Daniel - announced that the network was nearly ready.

"We have Diaspora working, we like it, and it will be open-sourced on September 15th," the announcement said.

Two of the team are reportedly taking time out from their studies at New York university to concentrate on developing the project.

On launch, the source code will be made available to third-party developers.

If any of you younger folk were wondering what the name was all about, a diaspora is a migration of a group of people away their traditional home. Take that Facebook.