Can’t make SXSW? Here are the best apps for pretending you’re there

sxswAnother SXSW, another week of chaos parties, conferences, and sleep deprivation. If you weren’t able to pony up for a ticket, though, there are still ways to catch up on what’s going on in real-time. 

But if you want to experience the show from the comforts of your couch or office (or if you feel a little overwhelmed by the show and need a concise feed to see what’s going on around you), we’ve got a few recommendations on how to find the best virtual SXSW experience. 


pixable sxsw feed

Pixable is continuing its real-time feed dedicated to everything SXSW. You’ll find photos that Pixable users are sharing to their Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook profiles at events all around SXSW that have been tagged with hashtag #SXSW. But you’ll need to have the app downloaded on your phone to keep track of what’s happening.

To be clear, there are two types of feeds that you’ll see on the app in the “Featured” section under the Trending tab. The first SXSW dedicated section titled “SXSW-Live” should be your go-to tool to find out everything that’s happening in real-time with parties, events, and concerts happening around Austin. And if you think about, people are more likely to brag about “secret” events by simply sharing that they’re attending so and so exclusive event so keep your eye on this section.

The second section is title “SXSW-Trending” which Pixable tells us is similar to the “Live” feed, but the difference here is that you’ll just be seeing the popular photos based on the number of retweets.

If you’re on the go and never expect to have a computer on hand, but you’re of course toting your smartphone or tablet, Pixable is your best bet.

Mass Relevance’s South by Social

south by social mass relevance

Last year Mass Relevance launched their real-time Twitter feed “South by Social” dedicated to SXSW. The feed has been live ever since and surfaces all tweets along with relevant images and metrics having to do with mentions of “SXSW.” It’s a pretty simple app that simply shows three or four tweets at a time, although you can scroll down for more content, and prominently featured buttons at the top of the page makes for easy navigating.

If you dig into the app, there are a few cool features dedicated to keeping an eye on fun events, and what verified Twitter users are up to at SXSW. To find this, navigate to the hashtag icon and you’ll see an icon for beer, representing “fun,” and Twitter’s symbol for verified accounts.

If it’s of any use, Mass Relevance displays metrics in its SXSW app so users can track the number of SXSW related tweets on a daily basis and view the volume of tweets per hour in graph form.

The app is only available via the Web however, so plan accordingly. 


storify sxsw feed

For many of you, you’ll by default keep up with SXSW happenings using Storify. You’ll find relevant news articles, photos, tweets, Instagram photos, YouTube videos, Facebook posts, and the like all bundled into an easy-to-digest feed. At the same time, Storify enables its users and brands to stitch together their own “stories,” so there’s bound to be someone somewhere on Storify who’s keeping track of their SXSW experience.

To find the stories about SXSW, Storify’s homepage has a link above its search bar, or you can just search for “SXSW.” It’s worth noting that Storify doesn’t have a smartphone app, but if you own an iPad you’re in luck. 

Instagram Web clients

gramfeed sxsw feed

Instagram is bound to be one of it not the most popular way that attendees and onlookers alike will follow SXSW events. There are a few options here if you’re going to limit yourself to Instsagram. The obvious choice is to search and view the #SXSW hashtag from Instagram’s mobile app, but that option isn’t available for its Web app. So this is where Instagram Web clients can fill in the gaps.

Statigram, Gramfeed, and Webstagram are just a few alternative platforms. To find the SXSW-specific feeds, simply search for “#SXSW” and should pull up what you’re looking for.


stublisher sxsw

Stublisher’s real-time SXSW feed should start on first day of the festival, raring and ready to go out of the gate.

The way Stublisher works, if you’re not familiar with it already, is that the Web app aggregates all relevant user-generated content like photos and tweets around individual events. Each event gets an event page populated with attendee’s content so if you’re looking around for specific events that you might be able to crash, Stublisher should be your first choice. But because of the nature of Stublisher, normally you wouldn’t be searching for the bigger festival “SXSW” to find what’s happening. You’d have to search for individual events within SXSW, say “Macklemore & Ryan Lewis” for instance, to find the real-time feed (granted that someone is sharing their photos and tweets around this event). Conveniently Stublisher set up a SXSW-specific page where you can check out all of the events that its users are talking about at SXSW.

To give you an idea about the types of events that Stublisher will have live feeds of off the bat, co-founder Kyle Banuelos says that they’ll be at the NoiseTrade shindig, these sixteen can’t be missed parties, as well as some music events. But keep a look out on its SXSW page for other events.

Hey Big Fish

hey big fish

If you’re looking not at events but influencers that you’d like to target and network with, Waggener Edstrom, Little Bird and Tater Tot Designs have teamed up with an influencer finding tool they call “Hey Big Fish.” Alongside being useful for finding who the influencers at SXSW are, which can be filtered down to influencers in certain topics, the Web app surfaces all SXSW-related hashtags that isn’t just #SXSW. You can use that part of the app to search for real-time feeds from other hashtags.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Leaked date and what you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a month away, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.

Tapped out? Edit faster with 5 gesture shortcuts in Lightroom CC on mobile

Missing those keyboard shortcuts when photo editing on a smartphone or iPad? Lightroom has a handful of gesture-based controls that can help fill the gaps, if you know where to find them.

Learn how to create a 360-degree panorama with your phone and Google Street View

Google Street View encourages you to explore the great outdoors, including landmarks, natural wonders, and even your own neighborhood. Learn how to create 360-degree imagery using your smartphone camera to add locations to Google Maps.

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.

Israeli company claims it can unlock any iPhone up to iOS 12.3 for police

Israel-based forensics firm Cellebrite claimed that its UFED Premium service can unlock any iPhone. The device will be sold as an on-premises tool, which means that the police will be able to use it any way they want.

Uber drivers reportedly triggering higher fares through Surge Club

Uber drivers are reportedly participating in a so-called Surge Club to artificially trigger higher fares. Many drivers said that they do not want to join the shady practice, but they are forced to do so due to pay cuts.

American Airlines expands its fast in-flight Wi-Fi, but it will still cost you

American Airlines has completed the installation of satellite-based in-flight Wi-Fi for the whole of its mainline narrowbody fleet comprising more than 700 planes, mainly on its domestic routes. But the service still costs.

Global Honor 20 launch marred by fear, as Huawei gets squeezed by U.S. ban

The launch of the Honor 20 series may be the first new device range to be seriously hit by Huawei’s presence on the Entity List. Huawei executives reportedly fear sales will be poor, which may force it to cut off shipments.

Huawei Mate 30 Pro render shows 2019 really is all about weird camera arrays

The Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro may join the Mate X folding phone as the company's star products for late 2019. This is what we know about the Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro so far.

How to turn on Now Playing and see music history on your Google Pixel

The new Now Playing feature is perfect for if you often hear songs you like but don't know the name of. The feature essentially shows songs playing around you on the Pixel lock screen. Here's how to turn on Now Playing on your Pixel.

Mastercard’s new card lets LGBTQIA+ customers use their true name

According to Mastercard, a major source of anxiety for those in the LGBTQIA+ community could be that their credit or debit card doesn't show their true name. The company aims to solve that issue with the new True Name card.

2020 iPhone range will all have OLED displays, according to analyst report

We're still many months away from the launch of a 2019 iPhone, so do we know anything at all about the 2020 iPhone? Surprisingly, the answer is yes, and the rumors are picking up the pace.

Need a do-over? Here's how to factory reset an iPhone, from XS on down

Resetting an iPhone can alleviate all sorts of software woes, and wipe away personal data should you sell your device or give it to someone else. Here's how to factory reset an iPhone from within iOS or iTunes.