Feature Comparison

Feature Comparison

We were asked to check out the Friendica feature list and see if that choice can also be provided by secushare. That list sure looks very impressive, but as always comparisons depend on the criteria you choose. This comparison focuses on superficial features, since users love to have those, after all. As we don't even have a user interface for secushare yet, we will just say how easy or hard these features are to do. We also added some features we consider important, even if Friendica doesn't support them.

General FeaturesFriendicaFacebookin secushare?
"Like" somethingyesyeseasy
"Dislike" somethingyesnoeasy
Birthday notificationsyeswrong TZeasy, local
Events calendaryesyesmedium
Selectable themesyesyeseasy, local selectable user interfaces
Multiple profilesyesforbiddenmedium
Edit sent postyesnomedium
Public fan pagesno?yesmedium
Working groupsno?yesmedium
"Poke" somebodyno?yeseasy

"local" means it can be done entirely on your own computer and doesn't require communications across the network. Themes aren't really a big issue if the entire user interface runs on your local device and can be replaced by a different one.

Sharing StuffFriendicaFacebookin secushare?
Share public postsyesyeseasy
Share public photosyesyeseasy
Share public videono?yeseasy
Share private postspseudopseudoeasy
Share private photospseudopseudoeasy
Share private videono?pseudoeasy
Private conversation groupspseudopseudomedium
Send private messagespseudopseudoYES
Send traditional e-mailpseudo?pseudoeasy, but still pseudo
"Wall-to-wall" postingyesyeseasy
Photo albumsyesyesmedium, but integrated into OS
Photo tagging?too muchmedium, but do we want that?
Face recognitionno?yeshard, feasible, but we don't want that
Shared music consumptionnoyesmedium
Share any file you likenonoeasy
Share programmable new typesnonoeasy

Sharing things privately isn't really private neither on Facebook nor on Friendica. On Facebook folks like the CIA have access to your private data, on Friendica it is the admins of your server, the company that hosts your server and anyone that can subpoena that company. Additionally it's on each of the recipients servers with the same chain of people that may have an interest in looking at it. That's why we call that a pseudo-private feature on all server-based platforms, only end-to-end encryption provides true privacy.

:Update: That paragraph was written before the Snowden revelations. It was accurate already then.

Facebook employs face recognition to auto-suggest photo tagging. Would be okay if it was your own computer doing such face recognition, but it's scary that Facebook knows who you are. secushare could be providing such a feature, too, If it's happening on your own computer, it should be okay. Depends on whether you can trust your computer. With the advent of monstrosities such as Windows 10, most devices sold after 2015 are no longer owned by their owners.

Unified InterfaceFriendicaFacebookin secushare?
View Friendica in streamyesyesmedium
View Facebook in streamyesyesmedium
View Twitter in streamyesyeseasy, anonymized even?
View Google+ in streamyesno?medium
View Status.Net in streamyesyesmedium
View Diaspora in streamyesyesmedium
View blogs/RSS in streamyesnomedium, anonymized and optimized
View email in streampseudopseudomedium, but still pseudo
View SMS in streamnonoeasy, local on smartphones
View operating system eventsnonoeasy, local
Send updates to Twitter etc.no?yesmedium

It's certainly easier to unify everything on the local computer. Clients like Gwibber do just that. All these "medium" are actually just one since the job is similar for most of the above.

When sending messages out to other platforms (does Friendica even do that?) it has to be easy and logical for the users to choose which updates they send should also go to external websites and which are intended to stay truly private.

We were also specifically asked to allow for local (secure) commenting of updates coming from insecure social services, possibly letting the original author know out of band (by email or something), if she hasn't joined secushare yet. That may be a bit inconvenient for the Faceboogle user, but it can appear natural to the secusharer.

Similar to "pseudo" above, pseudo means that you can have your email on your social webserver but you're not doing your privacy a big favour. Having email integrated in secushare would be a great plus instead, because it could ensure messages are always safe and encrypted for people that we already have added to secushare, thus slowly migrate our unsafe emailing practices to a higher degree of security.

ImplementationFriendicaFacebookin secushare?
Decentralisedyesnoyes, but without unencrypted data on servers
Runs on shared hostsyesnoyes, but also at home and on freedom boxes
Runs on mobile phonesvia webvia weblocal, runs natively on your mobile device
Scalabilitymaybeyesprobably, as there are no bottlenecks
Extensibility via pluginsyesyesyes, it's an application development platform
External access APIyesyesno, all the access is local which is better
Expire posts if desiredyesnoeasy, automatic by default
End-to-end encryptionnonoYES
Encrypted group messagingnonomedium
Usable even when offlinenonomedium
Automatic software updatenoyesmedium
Large file transfersnonomedium
Multicast distributionnoyeshard, but enables scalability for channels with roughly over a hundred participants
Shared live streamingnonomedium, once multicast is available

The difference concerning Facebook and secushare plugins is that with Facebook they also reside on servers and your data is handed out to some third party. secushare applications instead are just add-ons to your local software installation, they can have their own software update channel which is itself an encrypted and signed group communication within secushare. Also, local applications can access hardware like accelerometers, geo position trackers, microphones and cameras allowing for all of those cool things that are too scary to let some company do. Still, all your data stays on your device until you intentionally do something with it.

Advanced FeaturesFriendicaFacebookin secushare?
Chat and realtime messagingno?uglyYES, with end-to-end encryption
Commentable music viewnonomedium, Soundcloud-style
Realtime notification?severaleasy, local, integrated into OS
Mobile phone operating systemnomaybehard
Social payment systemnokind-ofhard but feasible
Social city discountsnonohard but feasible
Social bloggingno?kind-ofmedium, social desktop publishing
Social marketplaceno?kind-ofhard, your localhost ebay/craigslist
Social meeting placesno?disabledmedium, share geolocation when you want to
URL shortenermanualshortmedium, shortest URL ever
Questions, Surveys?yesmedium
Voting, Liquid Democracyno?nohard, but important
Giftsno?disabledeasy, unimportant

Realtime notification is a problem for web sites, either they annoy you with an email for each event, or they have an AJAX polling feature that fetches events and notifies you somehow. Facebook uses e-mail, little red boxes in the navigation. Secushare instead is running on your own computer and integrated into your operating system. It can filter events just the way you want them and display them to you in a non-disrupting way just the way you like them.

Facebook is rumored to be planning its own mobile phone operating system, independent from Apple and Google. This would allow for tighter integration between the phone features and the social network functions, like photos being directly available on Facebook. secushare is architected in a way that is actually better suited for being integrated into an operating system, so you could immediately specify who a photo should be shared to, but if you don't share it, it would never leave your phone. A free and socially enhanced operating system for mobile phones is feasible.

URL shorteners started as a commodity, then they became a tool to spy on your surfing habits. That's why social networks now enforce their own URL shorteners in order to keep usage statistics to themselves. Facebook has "FB.me", Twitter has "t.co" and secushare has "s". The letter "s" is allocated on the local host, so your web browser connects to your own secushare daemon. No spying happens, you simply have a way to bookmark things that are already on your computer, and if your friends are sharing that same data on their own instances of secushare, then the link works for them as well. This way you can also share links to public content on secushare, so you can tweet about things available only on secushare.