1. Group texting. This was easily the most widespread phenomenon among attendees. Nearly every person I ran into mentioned that they were part of a smaller group sharing info via text. I was part of several, and I can say it made things much easier when meeting up for meals or parties. GroupMe and Beluga were the prominent apps for group messaging. In this environment, where geography wasn’t a factor, group messaging primarily served the function of coordinating meet-ups. Outside this environment, I can see apps like these becoming standard as business collaboration tools and a replacement for e-mail and Facebook groups in many cases.
2. Hashable. Tons of people were using this app for networking purposes. The company calls it a way to “exchange business cards, make easy intros, and ‘check in’ with people to track meetings and calls.” I’m not convinced it’s a real step forward in terms of contact information management or even determining relevance of connections, but I can tell you there were a lot of people excited about it at SXSW.