SXSW's winning apps

Here are the 2017 SXSW apps that are buzzy today but likely to still be useful to you in 2018.

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(Credit: Shutterstock / Beer5020)

South by Southwest (SXSW) is about more than keynotes, conferences, and shows; it's also a great place to network. So it's no surprise that many of the apps that catch fire at SXSW Interactive are social. Some SXSW debuts make only a temporary splash, including apps like Gowalla, Foodspotting, Color, Highlight, and Meerkat. But others -- like Twitter (iOS, Android), Foursquare (iOS, Android), and GroupMe (iOS, Android) -- are still going strong years later. Here are the 2017 SXSW apps that are buzzy today but likely to still be useful to you in 2018.

Houseparty (iOS, Android)

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Beer pong, pizza, and Nintendo Wii dance-offs make for memorable house parties. They also make major messes. So host your next gathering over the Houseparty app and kiki with your crew over video -- no cleanup required.

Fasten (iOS, Android)

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Fasten your seatbelts, Lyft and Uber, you have some competition on the road this spring. Uber and Lyft recently departed Austin -- the services were angered by a city regulation requiring that drivers get fingerprinted to protect passenger safety. Fasten aims to be both driver- and rider-friendly -- the service vets drivers, and takes only 99 cents of each ride fare. Currently available in Austin and Boston, Fasten is set to rapidly expand nationwide.

Soon (iOS)

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To see all the events your Facebook friends are attending, you can use Facebook Events. But what if you're off Facebook? That's where Soon comes in. Sync your contacts to see what your friends are up to, or check out Featured events. Soon you'll be up on all the hottest happy hours, concerts, live streams, and more.

Punkpost (iOS)

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There is nothing more punk in 2017 than mailing a card. So skip the mainstream Facebook well-wishing and stand out from the crowd with a handwritten card. Just type out your desired message, and the folks behind Punkpost will hand write it and mail the card within 24 hours. Your first card is free; additional ones cost $6.

Hobnob Invites (iOS, Android)

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A beautiful invitation really builds anticipation for an event. But who has everyone's email address anymore? Hobnob Invites creates and conveys invitations quickly and effortlessly. Convert your existing friend groups into instant guest lists and send them a beautifully designed invite over text via the app. Get RSVPs and send and receive updates over SMS as well. Afterward, attendees will be invited to contribute event photos for a lasting keepsake.

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About Joshua Rotter

Joshua Rotter is a copy editor for Download.com and covers iOS.