Entries in SXSW (4)


At SXSW, New Sex App Focuses on that Other Type of Festival Networking

Hemera/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) -- At SXSW Interactive this year one sex-related start-up knows their audience, and they are marketing to the techie and social media savvy, yet carefree and sexually amped crowd.    

The service doesn’t need much explanation, thanks to its very blunt name. Bang with SXSW is a spin-off of Bang with Friends, a service that launched last month to much Internet scrutiny, criticism and excitement.

Started by three young twenty-somethings, Bang with Friends allows you to sign into the service via Facebook and then select the friends of the opposite sex you’d like to, well, bang. If that friend also selects you, you will both receive a notification that the other is “down to bang.” Forget match-making, this is Internet sex-making.

“SXSW is just a place for people to meet other amazing people and usually some of those people have sex and hook up,” the founder of Bang with Friends, who prefers to be identified right now as C, told ABC News. “We thought, how can we make that a better experience for everyone?”

Since launching at the end of January, “Bang with Friends” has gained 750,000 users and according to C, there have been 180,000 successful pairings. Not that they confirm the actual sex acts: “We don’t follow them into the bedroom no,” C said.

The main service, while controversial in many regards, requires that you are friends on Facebook. The company says that that ensures people are using information they are already sharing with friends; it just allows friends to discreetly see if the other is sexually interested in them.

The SXSW version of the site, however, shows all the people who have registered for the service at the event; you don’t have to be friends on Facebook to select someone you might want to “bang” in Austin for the next few days.

“Bang with SXSW” isn’t just trying to make sure SXSW attendees “bang,” it is also focused on promoting safer sex in Austin this week and is marketing the site by handing out thousands of condoms across the city.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Facebook Adds New Timeline Apps; Over 3,000 Available Now

Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images(AUSTIN, Texas) -- If you’re a Facebook user, you’ve likely noticed the new Timeline layout that has started to roll out, bringing a different look to user profile pages and replacing “The Wall” that most people were used to.  Along for the ride come a whole new slew of what Facebook calls “Timeline apps.”

Timeline apps aren’t games, but rather “lifestyle apps,” Facebook’s Malorie Lucich told ABC News. “They build upon Facebook’s social layer and make people’s Timelines more expressive with the things they are doing,” she said. In essence, they bring your favorite services and smartphone apps right to your Facebook page.

Monday at SXSW, the interactive media conference in Austin, Facebook is announcing some big additions to the Timeline app portal, including apps from Foursquare, The Onion, Fandango and Endomondo.

Since the launch of the new app platform two months ago, 3,000 apps have become available for users. The apps can be added to users’ Timelines and can be set to refresh automatically. For instance, the Spotify app links with the popular music service and shows what music you are or have recently listened to in real time.

The new Foursquare app, which rolls out Monday, will bring more of the features of the mobile app to the Timeline. (Foursquare, if you’ve never used it, is a mobile service that lets you tell friends where you are and interesting things you’ve found on the way.) “We’re excited to upgrade the posts we send to Facebook so people can push their Foursquare activities into Timeline and better showcase check-ins, badges, and mayorships,” Foursquare’s Erin Gleason said.

The Onion app will show videos or articles you’ve watched or read on Similarly, Fandango’s app will show clips of films you’ve watched through Fandango and let you add movies you want to see. The new Endomondo app, which is a fitness app for tracking workouts and run routes, will bring those maps straight to people’s Timelines.

All Facebook Timeline apps are available now; the new ones from Facebook and The Onion, Facebook said, are being added Monday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


SXSW 2012: Is Google+ a Flop? Or the Future?

Google(AUSTIN, Texas) -- Twitter and Facebook might be winning the social networking war, but Google’s not giving up. And its Google+ social network is becoming more and more a part of the search experience for which people know Google most.
That was the message from Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior VP of Google's social business, at SXSW, the annual conference in Austin on interactive media.

“You can think of Google Plus as Google 2.0,” he said in an on-stage interview conducted by Guy Kawasaki, who is best known for having been one of the first employees of Apple. “In the new Google, we know your name, we understand your circles, and we make every service better.”

Gundorta talked about how Google+ spans across all of Google’s services, including search and maps, which gives it a leg up on other social media.  ”Wait to you see what we are going to do next, wait until you see how Google comes together in a beautiful integrated experience,” he said.

He also confronted head-on the argument that Google+ has been a flop so far.

“The numbers are pretty staggering,” he said. Google is measuring success not by people who are signing up, he said, but by people who continue to come back to the service.

According to Gundotra, 100 million people have come back to Google+ within 30 days and done something on the service.

Of course, Kawasaki asked if Google was up to anything evil with what it now knows about its users through the social service.

Gundotra’s answer: “If we do things that are evil, with one click you can leave.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


SXSW 2012: ‘Spring Break For Geeks’ Kicks Off in Austin

Hemera/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) -- The annual South by Southwest Interactive festival kicks off Friday in Austin and, like in years past, the city is expected to be swarming with a mix of technology, social media and creative types.

“It’s spring break for geeks,” says Robert Scoble, who is notorious in the technology industry for knowing about all the next big apps and start-ups. “So many people are here from around the world and most of them are tech passionate. It’s become one of the most important events for networking and accelerating the growth of companies.”

More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the interactive portion of the show. The music and movie events begin later in the week.

“It ends up being one big networking event where everyone is in a relaxed mood,” Michael Dodd, a partner at Austin Ventures, explains. "You’ll find everyone from Valley Venture Capitalists to CEOs of major start-ups in a T-shirt and jeans with a beer and BBQ in hand listening to live music.”

In years past, the show has served as a major launching pad for particular tech apps and services that then went on to gain a widespread user base. Back in 2009, FourSquare debuted at the show; the service now has 15 million users. In 2007, Twitter put some major publicity at the show.

The tech community is already suggesting apps like Highlight, which lets you see friends who are physically near you, might be this year’s halo app.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio