SXSWi 2014: Twitter: the albatross around SXSW’s neck

Twitter has been an albatross around the neck of South by Southwest Interactive, according to the festival’s director, Hugh Forrest.

Forrest was speaking at a panel debate about current trends on Sunday 9 March when said Twitter’s success following the 2007 festival was a huge boon for SXSWi but had created expectations that similar breakthroughs would happen every year.

Fortune journalist Erin Griffith, who was also on the panel, added that there had been no breakout company in 2014 so far, nor was there one in 2013, and that tech start ups were no longer interested in launching at SXSWi. According to Griffith, the failure of mobile app Highlight to capitalise on its hype during 2012’s SXSWi, in addition to the increase in costs following the invasion of big brands at the festival, had put smaller companies off.

Forrest added that now, SXSWi was “less about the giant releases that change the world overnight and more about having conversations that would lead to other things in the long term”.


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