Darren Waters

SXSW news round-up

  • Darren Waters
  • 15 Mar 09, 15:11 GMT

Here are some of the product announcements and trends emerging at SXSW09:

Facebook launches Connect for iPhone

The giant social network has been working hard to leverage the power of its 175 million strong user base outside of its walled garden.

Facebook Connect allows third party websites to bake in the profile and friend lists of Facebook users and now it has been extended to the iPhone.

At launch 9 applications are currently live in the iTunes app store,which leverage Facebook Connect.

One of the first frms to take advantage is a British company, called Playfish. They have found enormous success releasing games on the Facebook platform.

I spoke to them at SXSW and they explained that the size of the Facebook community and the simplicity of distribution made the social network really attractive to them.

They now have more than 50 million registered players on Facebook and passed the four million daily active players mark quite recently.

No wonder then that they are keen to now extend the gaming experience from the browser to the mobile space, with the iPhone.

Other applications to take use Facebook Connect for iPhone include:

* Who has the Biggest Brain by Playfish
* Movies by Flixster
* iBowl and Agency Wars by SGN
* Urbanspoon
* Tap Tap Revenge 2 by Tapulous
* Whrrl by Pelago
* Live Poker by Zynga
* Binary Game by SayEight

Cnet's report on the launch, and the mobile social networking aspect, is here.

Twitter made simpler with WeFollow

While Twitter has been the communications medium of choice at this year's SXSW it has been difficult to sort the signal from the noise because almost everybody here is using the service and there has been a flood of "sxsw" hastags.

WeFollow is a Twitter directory from Kevin Rose, of Digg fame, wihich aims to make finding people, trends, categories a lot simpler on Twitter.

It is completely user-powered, with filters dictated by the number of people who use a particular hash tag.

You can add the tags which relate to you by sending a Tweet to @wefollow with three different hashtags - and that will insert yourself in the directory.

Danny Sullivan of SearchEngineLand has more.

Friends on Fire

Yahoo is extending the usefulness of Fire Eagle, its location awareness tool, by building an application for Facebook that allows friends to share their location.

"There are services that are more immediate than Fire Eagle, but as we get more apps, the value of updating once and having it shared across all your services is more important," Fire Eagle creator Tom Coates told Cnet.

Of course, Friends on Fire uses Yahoo Maps technology to plot locations of friends. That's fine if you are in the US, but their UK mapping data is a long way behind Google's.


  • Comment number 1.

    What do you think about the launch of professional microblogging site.

    I am closely following the SXSW launches, and I think you are doing a great job covering them all. would love to hear more updates and comments.

  • Comment number 2.

    Thanks for the comment. Will check out
    I've heard good things so far.

  • Comment number 3.


    This is interesting, but...

    What does "...leverage the power of its 175 million strong user base outside of its walled garden" mean in English

    Or "...bake in the profile and friend lists of Facebook users..."

    Surely it is possible to discuss cutting edge IT developments without cloaking them in impenetrable jargon?


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