A whopping 24,569 people registered for the South by Southwest Interactive festival this year, up 27 percent from 2011. For five days and nights they stormed Austin to network, party, debate new tech trends and raise a glass to the madness of geekdom.

But to many products, brands and commentators, the chatter that matters is online.

Seattle-based social media analytics shop Simply Measured crunched the numbers and came up with some interesting figures on the #SXSW buzz that flowed through Twitter. A few headlines:

  • Louder and louder: Total tweet volume jumped 60% from 2011 to 2012, from 314,946 tweets last year to 503,778 tweets this year.
  • Here I am: Foursquare won out among sharing apps used to post to Twitter, edging out Instagram and lapping YouTube.
  • Highlight the highlight: An impressive 75 percent of the buzz around social discovery apps was for ambient awareness app Highlight. More on Highlight and its competitors here.
  • The picture matters: 41 percent of the SXSW Interactive content sent out via Twitter was photos. 34 percent was check-ins.
  • iPhone still king: 77 percent of #SXSW tweets posted on a mobile platform were posted via iOS.

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  • Guest

    I have to wonder whether the increase in #sxsw tweets was offset by an increase in Global Filter settings to not show #sxsw tweets?

    See, if a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, it might just be silent.

    [This is my 2nd year of blocking all #sxsw tweets and preferring tech blog coverage to sift through the noise to find some signal].

    I’d also say that the heydey of a single Tech blog being able to anoint a “winner” at events like #sxsw is over.  Many still try.  But those days are long gone.

    The other notable item here is that those data over-sharers on iOS do not represent “mainstream” in any way shape or form.  If 77% of the traffic came from iOS (when the iPhone is 11% of total mobile market), then extrapolating meaning from #sxsw and applying it to the real-world  is simply not possible.  i.e. What happens at #sxsw may just stay at #sxsw.

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