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SXSW 2021

What’s Next in Social? Enter the Metaverse

Social media platforms have evolved with the changing needs of people who like and swipe to keep in touch with others and curate their personal brands. The evolution continues as social media companies adjust to a new era of friendship and connection online. Meaningful connections happen when we follow the science about relational drivers for real bonding. What can we learn from in-person relationships that holds true for online relationships? How should we develop social platforms to foster these key requirements? What will online relationships look like if we create social networks focused on authentic connection? How can we unify the latest trends – VR and 3D spaces, avatars, shared games and experiences – with the latest social science? Enter the Metaverse for real connecting.

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  1. A focus on the key principles that are essential to create meaningful friendships, online and IRL.
  2. How social networks can learn from scientific friendship principles evolve to foster greater social connection.
  3. What social networks are doing now, and in the future, to foster social connection.


  • Lauren Bigelow, Chief Product Officer, IMVU, Inc.
  • Jessica Freeman, Head of Minecraft Marketing, Microsoft Corp.
  • Shasta Nelson, Friendship Expert, Author, Speaker, GirlFriendCircles
  • Meaghan Fitzgerald, Head of Product Marketing, Facebook Reality Labs Experiences, Facebook


Amanda White, Vice President, Rogers & Cowan PMK

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