Archive for May, 2010

People are coming to expect that no matter what they’re doing, there’s an application that can help them do it faster, better, and easier.

Real estate firms are answering the call with a series of applications that are designed to make looking at home in a certain area easier when potential buyers are on the go.

Though real estate agents say that the applications aren’t actually improving their bottom line, they are pacifying the buyers who have come to expect apps for everything. With global-positioning technology, buyers can see other houses in the area that they’re perusing without actually having to go across town to a house that doesn’t even fit their specifications. They’re also able to see other homes that a realtor might not show them.

Buyers can get details like the house’s location, a map, panoramic views, photo galleries, home values, and even the amount of crime in an area.

The apps may not be helping real estate agents sell more houses, but they are extremely popular. One of the biggest real-estate info sites, Zillow, says people are looking up two million homes a month on its free app, which has been downloaded nearly one million times already.

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Mobile advertising is an as-yet-untested-fully venue, but many advertisers are thinking of it as the next wave in media opportunities to reach a younger, technology-savvy demographic.

Apple seems to think so too: It has just unveiled Apple iAds, their ad program for mobile phones.

There is a lot of speculation on whether the new iAds will use the information it currently possesses about its phone users to generate ads that appeal to them. Apple has invested a great deal into technology that custom fits new possibilities to previous purchases.

iTunes is one stellar example of this trend: Apple knows what any individual’s preferences are when it comes to genre of music and artists that user might like, and it pitches new bands and solo acts based on that knowledge. If Apple can get its ad network to hit the same note, it could potentially be serious competition for Google’s AdSense.

The other interesting notion is that Patently Apple has announced a patent that could force users to watch advertising by using their smartphone to interact with the ads. This interaction ensures that the user is watching the whole commercial – a problem for both online and mobile media right now, since many users simply ignore the ad until it’s over.

There are rumors that Apple is considering using techniques like these in exchange for heavily discounted rates on their technology, since they may be unpopular among users who paid well to use their iDevices.

Though iAds has been revealed, exactly how it will be executed has not. We’ll be interested to see how iAds wind up changing the way we use mobile phones – and advertising.

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