SXSW 2022: Building your own social network

Both content creator and audience consent to cross-share their information.

March 21, 2022

2 Min Read

Both content creator and audience consent to cross-share their information.  

Tech startup OwnSocial has launched a platform that lets users create their own social networks, giving ownership of the data and images to the users themselves. It showed off the service at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas.

A Distributed Social Network (DSN) creates a community and shares content between OwnSocial websites. The platform is powered by web applications and websites with a unique domain name chosen by users themselves. Users decide how they want to publish or incorporate content from other sites.

When a user creates an OwnSocial network with their Builder software, they decide their own subdomain, such as The backbone of the website is created and customized through Word Press as an open-source content management system.  

The information is pushed out automatically to fellow OwnSocial websites within their network.

By building out its own independent network, the startup is promoting the control users have over their own data.  

Critics have accused Twitter and Meta, parent company of Facebook, of selling and processing personal data without users' knowledge when they share information. 

OwnSocial models its community as a series of spheres, or independent networks. There is no centralized dashboard, controlling all the networks.

A user controls its own sphere, deciding how much data they want to share or keep private. Communities, like, are built around similar interests, like innovation or business development.

Other OwnSocial websites running include cryptocurrency tutorials, independent film shorts, and musicians showcasing their work through YouTube. The tech company is not touting that people forsake other social media channels. Their ethos is that users can control how they want their data shared.

Posts can be automatically shared in cross-platform syndication. Syndication is automatically publishing and pushing out content to a user’s network. The difference with OwnSocial is that the content creator and audience both consent to share information between their spheres. 

Also, one user profile is used across OwnSocial’s networks, communities and websites, simplifying the tangle of social media networks that require many users to maintain multiple profiles on several platforms.   

People can decide to monetize their own social network through their own website. They can also exchange content with other networks if they choose to.   

Currently, OwnSocial is developing a mobile app with plans to make it compatible with iOS and Android.

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