Talking tech since 2003

Facebook just officially announced that they have reached 500 million users.  Diaspora is currently in pre-alpha stages, but as we wrote, it definitely has some potential to revolutionize privacy.  Even Mark Zuckerberg reportedly pledged money to the Diaspora project.  That’s great and all, but will Diaspora really catch on?  Even if it does gain some traction, it just doesn’t seem likely, it will be able to compete with Facebook.  There have been similar services available for some time.  Granted, they aren’t as simple and easy to use as Diaspora is claiming it will be, but nonetheless, there are alternative services available.

I see two potential possibilities that could occur here.  The first being the obvious – Diaspora launches, doesn’t gain much traction and is considered a complete flop.  Oh well, they tried.  The other option, which would be extremely interesting is if Facebook were to acquire the Diaspora project.  It would be what is called a talent buy.  It’s the same move Facebook used when they acquired Friendfeed.  Think about it.

The NYU students behind the Diaspora project are obviously bright and skilled programmers and engineers.  Not to mention, I’m sure they would love a job coming out of school.  It would make sense for Facebook to reel them in and use some of their technology to enhance and improve Facebook.  Aside from acquiring the talent and technology, it would look great for Facebook from a privacy standpoint.  Between the Diaspora team and other Facebook engineers, I’m sure they could create a winning product.

A product which incorporates further privacy options and settings for users and gives users more control over their data.  Giving users control of their data is a good thing.  It won’t stop Facebook from being able to build user preference profiles which they can provide to help their advertisers better serve more effective ads.  The reason Google became so successful was due to brand loyalty, trust, and just a great product.

It’s already clear Zuckerberg has an interest in the project.  This would seem like a logical step assuming Diaspora is as interesting and innovative once it is complete as it is being made out to be.

What do you think?  Would Facebook ever consider acquiring Diaspora?  Would Diaspora go for it?

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