The Interactive Festival at SXSW is almost over (insert sad face emoticon). With all the new applications being launched and all the emerging startups trying to get people's attention, it's hard to narrow down the list to just one favorite. So we took a man-on-the-street approach and just started walking up to strangers here in Austin, asking them what apps they just could not live without.
As you might imagine, the apps that people use most involve social networking in some way. People also mentioned a lot of music apps for streaming songs on the go. One trio of teenagers we ran into are particularly fond of Twitter because they are die-hard, self-professed Beliebers, and they love being able to stay connected to superstar Justin Bieber and other celebrities on Twitter.
People we spoke with also enjoy using photo-sharing sites like Flickr and Instagram to keep up with what their friends and loved ones are up to. Several people mentioned apps that help them to meet up with friends and get their loved ones' recommendations about restaurants and nightclubs.
An app that people are just starting to get used to is Vine, which allows you to shoot and edit six-second videos with your mobile device, and then upload and share them with your social network on Twitter. The video plays in a constant loop, and people can post comments and click a smiley face if they like what you posted.
The most consistent trend among app users seems to be this: People like the newest and most innovative apps that will save them time and allow them to stay connected with people in their social and professional circles. So if you're an innovator in the tech world looking to get your app discovered, SXSW is definitely the place to be.
[Related: Hands-on with the week's top apps]