Why Build With DSNP?

Why You Should Consider DSNP for Your Decentralized Social App

There are a variety of social media protocols and platforms available to you as a developer each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Here are a few reasons why DSNP may prove the best platform for your decentralized social application.

Level Playing Field

DSNP is designed to support interoperable applications in an open marketplace and ecosystem. By providing users with a shared, permissionless data layer, DSNP stops applications from imposing high switching costs and returns the value of the network effect created by social connections to the people that created them. DSNP does not provide a de facto disadvantage to new developers entering the space: existing users may move to new applications simply and without penalty. Thus all applications have access to users and may reach them in the open marketplace.

DSNP also hasn’t been “reverse engineered” from a particular application, and while anyone in the ecosystem may participate in protocol governance and evolution, no single application has any special privileges as the primary or de facto decision maker. In addition, there are no fees or dues to participate in the DSNP ecosystem, and no gatekeeper that is empowered to offer selective or tiered access to compatible applications. There is room for all to grow and thrive.

Flexible and Extensible Platform

Some protocols define precisely how an application may or may not meet user needs–particularly in terms of monetization. DSNP allows developers to select whatever monetization strategy best meets the needs of their users. This affords developers flexibility in discovering unmet user needs, and optimizing their solution to meet a changing marketplace. Conversely, it means that users can choose the applications and services that provide the functionality they want under the terms of service they select. The guardrails and guidelines that form part of the protocol (interoperability and user opt-in) are clearly spelled out in the specification and documentation.

True Decentralization

Unlike some other protocols, DSNP is not owned or controlled by any one person or company. While Project Liberty is the initial steward of the DSNP specification, a draft governance framework establishing an open and equitable multi-stakeholder process has been published on DSNP.org, along with an open invitation for participation, scrutiny, and suggestions.


DSNP is more than a dream of a better internet. DSNP has been successfully implemented by major application developers and the DSNP ecosystem is growing fast, with more than 900,000 users across a diverse set of communities and geographies having opted in as of June 2024. This growth easily makes the DSNP community larger than any other permissionless, decentralized social network.

Data Persistence and Interoperability

DSNP is a completely open protocol and relies on the permissionless nature of consensus systems. With DSNP, key data such as user identifiers, delegated permissions, and social graphs are replicated to all participants in the system. Thus, there is no need to port or transfer data from one provider to another and risk data loss or lack of visibility. Users may access their social graph from any DSNP application without worries about compatibility or redirects. They needn’t worry that they will lose access to their data if a single server or application provider goes down, as the system does not rest on a single point of failure. This allows users to move freely and easily among DSNP-compatible applications, using one or several at any time.

Security and Privacy by Default

Some protocols offer no guarantee that user data will remain private and secure. Rather, they assume that users must trust that server operators won’t abuse their powers to access or manipulate data. DSNP uses publicly provable cryptography, including strong data encryption and digital signatures, to secure user data and maintain privacy. DSNP applications may not access private user data unless the user specifically grants access to that application. And access can just as easily be revoked, ensuring that users remain in control.

Welcoming Developer Community

A thriving community has grown to support DSNP and the many applications and services using the protocol. This includes forums, open source code repositories, and monthly open meetings where DSNP developers and community members solicit feedback, contributions, and suggestions and keep everyone up to date on the evolution of the protocol and ecosystem. In addition, Project Liberty Institute has convened an experienced and high-profile panel of DSNP Advisors, drawn from industry and academia, who meet regularly to work through various aspects of the protocol including ethics, use cases, specifications, governance and the growth of the ecosystem. Researchers at prestigious institutions including Harvard University, Stanford University and MIT are actively engaging with DSNP and exploring intersections with work in areas as diverse as social sciences, economics, computer science, and communications theory. Any interested developers are encouraged to participate in the DSNP community by reviewing the mission and principles and joining open forums online and live discussions like the DSNP monthly specification call.