Wow there is _a lot_ of negativity in this thread. I really wanted to make some comments on this project and I hope they are constructive.
I'm wondering if you're starting off with a specific vertical in mind for this, targeting any facebook user might be a bit hard, so maybe consider curating to specific groups of people or communities. The current UI/UX would not be appealing to engineers for example (pop colours, animations, sliding panels) but to a more creative community it might be a welcome change.
Social networks are a dime a dozen, you most likely have some features that differentiate slyde from others and some features your target audience will appreciate. Let your users know about them. The landing page doesn't offer much information. Why and how is slyde better for my community, friends, or work?
Help the user understand what your features do, channels don't load, and I don't know what they are. The button to "create a post" is giving me three options for feed/channel/story. I don't know what these are and I don't know how to find out. I am not sure what an invite will do.
Various minor personal annoyances with the site itself: The whole site is visually overloaded and is bringing my browser to its knees (on a pretty beefy desktop). The vertically scroll on the home page result in me going to the previous page when using the trackpad. Clicking on "create a post" takes 5 seconds to do something. Various buttons don't show the correct cursor making me think they are not clickable.
Again a personal peeve: I would not invite my friends/family to anything that suggests that they might know random strangers. I understand these are the first days of the network but logging in and simply seeing a list of options and reasons I should invite my friends would be more encouraging than seeing random people's faces.
Myself -- an ex lead architect and senior engineer at Vacasa and Nike -- and a few of my non-engineering friends got together and decided to build the next social media platform. We just made it public late last week and have received overwhelmingly positive feedback both from our closed testing (with just friends and family) and our single post about it the day we went public on Reddit. We had more people check it out and get accounts than we anticipated; it feels like we've hit the right nerve. We made something we wanted to use and we already have a lot of people who have never had social media who now have a Slyde. We hope you all on HN will like it too.
There is a video on the front page you can watch that is only 2 minutes long but explains the basics of how it works.
I know it happens that one encounters 99 annoyances in a row and then runs into #100 and the built-up frustration boils over. But it's important not to use a forum like this to discharge such a payload.
As for us being in the US, it's because that's where we live.
To speak to the centralized part, for me and my own use, that is something I want. I don't think that's what everyone wants but I do believe it's what the majority of people want. The problem is, the places that centralize that for us don't always do it with the best of ethics in mind. Maybe we can change that.