Open Source Social Networking Softwares To Create Your Own Community

There are lots of social networks from small to huge ones like Facebook or MySpace.

Although trying to create the next Facebook may not be a good idea, you may want to create a niche network or empower & add new features to the network you already have.

Here are 6 open source social networking applications which are developed continiously, well-documented & offer impressive functions.



Elgg is a mature social networking framework which offers:

  • advanced user management and administration
  • social networking
  • cross-site tagging
  • powerful access control lists
  • internationalisation support
  • multiple view support (eg cell phones, iPhone)
  • an advanced templating engine
  • a widget framework and more.

Its plugin based system enables adding new features easily from a plugins database or creating your own.

Elgg is built with PHP / MySQL & comes with a JSON API.



PHPizabi is a feature-rich open source social networking engine for creating & managing basic-to-advanced communities.

It is built with PHP / MySQL & besides every feature that can be thought for a social networking site, it offers:

  • a multilingual interface
  • mass mailing to users
  • creating blogs
  • forum integration & more


Dolphin Social Network Application

Dolphin is one of the most popular applications to create a community.

It is built with PHP / MySQL & has unique features like streaming video chat or ability to record videos from the application itself to share them.

Apart from the standard social networking features, it has an integrated billing system for paid-networks.

Anahita Social Engine

Anahita Social Engine

Anahita is a scalable social networking platform that is built as Joomla extensions using the Nooku framework.

It provides users an Ajaxed interface with powerful profile management & messaging capabilities.

It supports OpenID & has an integration with Amazon Cloud Storage to ease the management of growing data.

Community Engine

Community Engine

Community Engine is an open source plugin for Ruby on Rails applications that provides the common features of social networking applications including:

  • authentication & user profiles
  • blogs with tagging
  • photo uploads
  • forums & private messages
  • friendships & activity feeds
  • & more..

Lovd By Less

Lovd By Less

The application offers a ready-to-go base with features like:

  • friending
  • messaging
  • blogs & comments
  • photo galleries
  • Fickr & Youtube integration
  • & more..

It is built with Ruby on Rails.

BuddyPress (Bonus App.)


BuddyPress is a set of WordPress plugins & themes for converting a WordPress MU installation into a social networking website.

It has features like:

  • friending
  • private messaging
  • forums
  • groups
  • activity stream
  • & more..

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