Think of the recently launched Anchor as an audio-based social network. Users upload and share short audio clips, and others can listen, share and respond — think Twitter and Facebook interactions but with voices instead of text. The result is a stream of incredibly diverse conversations that you can easily listen and contribute to.
Paul Davison, the creator of Shorts, knows a thing or two about going viral at SXSW. In 2012 he launched Highlight, which went crazy viral in Austin before fading into app oblivion. Like Highlight, Shorts is also about sharing (or oversharing, depending who you ask) with friends and people nearby.
Each time you open the app, Shorts challenges you to share the photos from your camera roll. You can follow friends or look for people nearby to get a peek into their day through their photos.
Backed by JJ Abrams and Moviefone cofounder Andrew Jarecki, KnowMe allows you to create short video clips using your voice and photos and videos from your camera roll. The app has a Vine-like interface that makes it easy to browse other users’ videos and share your own creations with the app’s community. Both Abrams and Jarecki will be on-hand at SXSW as the two are teaming up in a session Monday where they are expected to talk about robots, murderers and — you guessed it — KnowMe.
Tribe, which began gaining traction almost immediately after it launched at the end of 2015, puts a slightly different spin on video messaging. The app has a simple one-screen interface that makes it easy to quickly share short audio or video messages with just one tap. Tribe even has a slightly gameified “points” system, which awards you points based on your activity within the app.
5. Cola Messenger
Cola Messenger aims to make messaging simpler with its “cola bubbles” — interactive elements that let you take an action directly from a text message. You can share availability to schedule a meeting, take a poll, create a to-do list or share your exact location from within the bubbles. Better yet, the friends you share with don’t need to have the app installed in order to interact with the bubbles.
Though far from an up-and-comer, 2016 is shaping up to be the year Snapchat becomes truly mainstream and we expect this year’s conference will see more snaps and stories than any year before. In addition to the inevitable steady stream of selfies that will pass through the app, there are entire panels devoted to burgeoning world of Snapchat marketing and celebrity. Meanwhile, those following along at home should keep an eye out for stories from the ground in Austin.
(Pro-tip: Be sure to turn on travel mode so Snapchat won’t eat your data while you’re out and about.)