The Future of Social Media is “Anti-Social Media” Products – Part 2 with Emma Bates, Diem

Social media has been called “the people’s platform.” But for all its benefits to the public, many challenges still exist. Misinformation is widespread, and for women & non-binary users, harassment is a common experience. Emma Bates, the co-founder & CEO of Diem, a “social universe” for women & non-binary people, shares the alternative answer her product is offering to those who want a better experience on social media. As she explores with Christian, much of the answers lie in how we foster empathy online and how we encourage people to “pass their power.” 

This episode is part 2 of our two-episode exploration of social media products. Visit part 1 to hear Christian & Meghan’s thoughts on how social media products are evolving, and to hear what we mean when we say “anti-social media.” 

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  • There’s a difference between building a “social network” and a “social universe” that values learning and intentional knowledge-sharing.
  • A person’s lived experience will influence how they build digital products—and it will impact how users interact with your product.
  • Because most social media is about “hiding our shadows,” users don’t tend to have a balanced experience.

Things To Listen For:

  • [1:30] The story behind Diem and the motivation for building it
  • [2:00] Why Diem isn’t trying to create a “new social network”
  • [3:00] Why women and non-binary people need a dedicated social space
  • [4:00] How Diem sees opportunity in building products that are more empathetic
  • [6:00] Why considering lived experience matters when building products
  • [8:00] If you don’t have the same experience, you have to be open to others’
  • [9:30] Does technology “not allow empathy”?
  • [10:30] Challenges on social media can be tied to what the platforms value
  • [12:00] What happens when most social media is about “hiding our shadows”
  • [13:30] How Diem is changing incentives to create a different social experience
  • [14:00] Why Diem is tying its “social universe” to a higher purpose: passing power
  • [18:00] What Diem means when it describes itself as a “social universe”
  • [20:00] Building community is not the same as building technology
  • [23:00] Why the product world needs alternative answers
  • [26:30] How Diem is different from social media as we know it
  • [29:00] Exploring the long-term vision for Diem as it continues to evolve
  • [32:00] How Diem is creating a brand that is “exclusively inclusive”
  • [38:00] A reflection on how social media impacts children & teens
  • [43:00] How Diem is ultimately about gender & power