The 4 hottest apps from SXSW and what they mean for you

At least one app is ideal for brands, and any of them could become the next Pinterest. You can’t afford to not pay attention.

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At last year’s conference, Pinterest was on the upward swing in the buzz department. Now, it’s the fourth most visited social network, according to Hitwise.

So what will take the Web by storm this year?

Judging by the buzz at this year’s SXSWi (as measured by Mashable) these sites are poised to make a splash:

Highlight — the “who’s near me” app

What it is: The most bandied about startup at this year’s SXSWi was Highlight, an app that syncs with your Facebook account, enabling you to connect with those around you who have similar tastes. The more you “like” on Facebook, the more matches it is likely to find.

Anecdotally, I was riding the El in Chicago today when on my phone the Highlight app alerted me that a guy named Dave is also a fan of Words With Friends and Chicago’s Baconfest. Later in the day, it told me that a guy named Jay who works in my building also watches Conan O’Brien.

If you’d like, you can “highlight” these people and perhaps meet for coffee (and, with any luck, not be violently attacked by them).

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