Social media platforms have found themselves at the center of heated tech debates. Established players are facing high-profile lawsuits and a growing techlash—proving that bigger isn’t always better. Meanwhile, a wave of smaller, slower, more liberated platforms are coming to market with a clean slate and a shiny new halo. Privacy concerns are sparking a mass migration to encrypted messaging apps. Niche, community-based apps are promising more connection and less polarization. And more mindful apps are doing away with endless scrolling—encouraging users to take some time off from the always-on. But is this new social media utopia enticing enough? Or will we remain tied to the big platforms—and the big consequences that come with them?
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.