VR, Messaging, AI, IoT and Dark Social Lead Charge at SXSW

The SXSW Festival kicked off in Austin on Friday and runs until March 20. VentureBeat has identified five trends at the fest expected to have a significant impact on how brands and consumers interact in the near future. Virtual reality is at the forefront with panels “on tap to discuss everything from Cinematic VR, virtual football, and VR storytelling to city planning using social VR.” SXSW will also focus on the shift from social media to social messaging, the growth of artificial intelligence and emotive robotics, connected wearables and IoT-based devices, and the sharing activity known as “dark social,” which addresses “the culmination of referrals and sharing of content that originates from instant messages, emails containing links,” and the rise of “platforms such as Snapchat, WeChat, and WhatsApp.”