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Updated on May 25, 2013

There has been an explosion of social networking activities online and this has been the most important trend online in the past few years.

This is visible with the success of such social networks like facebook, myspace, twitter, linkedin etc. Facebook alone which launched in 2006 commands over 500 million registered users globally as of 2010 statistics.

This explosion has prompted various well-wishers and companies to create open social networking scripts at a free cost. Now you just have to download, install, configure and preach the gospel about your new Social network.

Some of such open social networking scripts include:


This is a wordpress sister project. It comes as a wordpress plugin. Some of its outstanding features include: User profiles, private messaging, friends/buddylist, groups, activity streams, a wall/stream like section named "the wire" for status updates and tweet like on site micro blogging.

See Buddypress demo

Download Buddypress

Visit main website


Elgg is a fabulous platform written in PHP which you can use to create a myspace or facebook like site. In 2008 it won the category for best social networking platform, also it has a viable and active community which makes it eligible for a try. Some notable sites using elgg include-->.BuddyGo ,CourseWare, Hedgehodge, University of Nebraska

Some of its features include: Blog, chat, file sharing features, customizable user profiles, youtube video embedding.

See Elgg demo

Download elgg

My recommendations on some helpful books on social networks

-Xoops with yogurt extension

Xoops is an extensible CMS which you can use to start a site based on your needs. However with xoops alone you cannot create a social network. You need to install a particular module called "yogurt". With this yogurt extension prepare to get a fully packed social networking with features like: Photo albums, youtube video embed, mp3 files, Friends list, a public wall named "scraps", create tribes and many more.

Download yogurt

Download xoops

Visit main website


Pligg is a CMS system you can use to start a site like Digg, Mixx. Some of its features include: user profiles, voting on things that are good, private messaging, members have full control over their content, each user gets own profile.

Follow this Tutorial on how to Install Pligg

See Pligg demo

Download pligg

Visit main website


Drigg is another script you can use to start a digg like site. It is a drupal module. Some of its powerful features include: flexible voting, automatic voting, and automatic role assignment.

Visit drigg main website

Download drigg

Download drupal

With this open source script you can start your own micro-blogging website like twitter. Some of its features include: Status/notices, messaging, user profiles etc.



Yonkly is a based script you can use to start your own micro-blogging platform. Some of its features include: Support for Groups and timeline, Message search.

Download yonkly


Mahara is an e-portfolio platform and you can use it to setup an online learner community.

Some of its outstanding features include: Blog, Résumé builder, a file manager, institutions detail and the social networking aspect of adding and maintaining your friends.

See Mahara demo

Download mahara

Visit Mahara main website

-Lovd by Less

Another great script and the first of its kind on Ruby on rails platform. Some of its outstanding features include: Blogs, photo gallery with captions, search friends, activity update and user messaging system.

See Lovd by less demo

Download lovd by less

Visit lovd by less main website

Update: Loved by Less development was stopped. You can't view the demo nor download the script from the original site but you can still download it from Github. I have updated the download link above.


Jcow is another great php script you can use to start your own facebook like site. It has both a free and premium version .Some features of its free version include: User proofiles, status updates, blogs, forums e.t.c

See Jcow demo

Download Jcow

Visit jcow main website


Oxwall is unbelievably flexible and easy to use PHP/MySQL community software platform.

Features include: Video upload, photo albums, Groups, forum, link, chat and many more

See Oxwall demo

Download oxwall

Visit oxwall main site


Laconica is another great script to start your own micro-blogging website like twitter. Oone great feature of Laconica is the Support for open I.D.

This site uses laconica as its platform

Update: Laconica is now under STATUS.NET

However you can still download the version used by here:

Download laconica.


Jisko microblogging development stopped in 2010 but is it is still worthy noticing.You can use it to start your own twitter like site. Download and try it.

Download Jisko.


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    • profile image

      XRumerTest 4 years ago

      Hello. And Bye.

    • bruzzbuzz profile image

      bruzzbuzz 5 years ago from Texas , USA

      I never knew any of this. I found it very interesting. Voted up.

    • Mac Mission profile image

      Mac Mission 6 years ago from bangalore

      fantastic . loved it.

    • CarolineVABC profile image

      CarolineVABC 6 years ago from Castaic

      What a very informative hub! It is so true that networking has been a trend for social and work related connections. I know for a fact that I would've not been able to reconnect with many of my loved ones and friends, if not because of MySpace and now Facebook! Thank you for sharing the sites! I might try and take a look at some of these things, myself. Take care. Keep at it. God bless!

    • profile image

      efren 6 years ago

      Thanks for the info. Found a lot of interesting alternatives to elgg.

    • Affiliate Reviews profile image

      Affiliate Reviews 6 years ago

      Fantastic Article...There is also another membership type plug in for WP called mingle. Easy to set up but limited. I will call it a step above Vbulletin.

      I love that you put social networks here as well. Ning is a good choice as well but again sort of limited with some functions.

      I have not yet looked at ELGG I will head over there to give it a whirl.

      I am testing out amember right now for a membership site. Looked at Whishlist but it seems to have too many snags...

      Keep up the excellent work my friend.

    • Silver Poet profile image

      Silver Poet 6 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

      I had been thinking about whether or not to start a social network. Your info was greatly appreciated.

    • amybradley77 profile image

      amybradley77 6 years ago

      This is so great, something I needed to know. Thanks for sharing. A.B.

    • dexixy profile image

      dexixy 6 years ago from Kampala

      Great you found this useful, thanks for the comment

    • irenemaria profile image

      irenemaria 6 years ago from Sweden

      This was lots of useful information! Thanks!

    • dexixy profile image

      dexixy 6 years ago from Kampala

      Thanks for reading and commenting, i'm glad you've found this information helpful and wishing you all luck. i appreciate your compliment.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 6 years ago from Southern California

      What an interesting hub. I wish I was brave enough to try one of these. I'm going to bookmark it and sometimes down the road I might give it a try. You did an awesome job in giving us this information. Thanks.