With the widespread adoption of proprietary social networks like Facebook and mobile chat platforms like Wechat, we may be heading to a future where all our communication are monetized and our online transactions are mediated by closed monopolistic big-data companies.
This talk describes an open social movement led by Omlet, an open messaging service and distributed computing platform that spun out of four years of research at Stanford University. To the user, Omlet appears as a super chat app with many plug-ins and extensions; deep down, Omlet is actually a distributed social OS and network. At the heart of Omlet is a universal messaging system where devices can communicate with each other via existing identities such as phone numbers or email addresses, without giving up ownership of the communication data. Built upon this messaging layer is a distributed semantic file system that enables collaborative apps be written easily while allowing data be distributed in the cloud service of the users’ choice.