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Real Estate Marketing

Trying out a new AI-powered photo enhancer

(MARKETING) Using AI to edit photos is helping listing photos to shine their best, so we take a look at a popular new contender for results.

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photolemur AI photo editing

It seems like everyone nowadays wants to post the best version of themselves online. Vacation photos, listing photos, family portraits, and every day snapshots of breakfast go through extreme scrutiny before posting, sending, or texting to our family, friends, or followers. Even my mom figured out how to paint away her wrinkles in Apple photos before she sent out her Christmas card this year.

This is what it actually looked like, we tell ourselves after extensive editing, this red really was that red, the sky really was that vivid, the trees that brilliant un-capturable shade of green. And perhaps the iPhone snapshot couldn’t accurately capture the minutia of color and vivid warmth we actually experienced in that moment. So we edit. We pinch and pluck and filter and filter again. It’s easy. It’s free. Why the heck not promote the best version of an image?

It’s no wonder the market for accessible AI (artificial intelligence) photo editing tools is so competitive.

Now, every social media app has auto photo editing capabilities and filters. One new app is trying something different – photo editing ai that can dissect a photo and edit each area differently. At least that’s what it claims.

Photolemur is an app that uses AI to enhance photos enough to be socially acceptable and maybe a little bit more.

We ran the free version through the ringer here at The Real Daily and found interesting results. Using a photo from Wiki commons of Yosemite National Park, we tested the auto editing features/filters of iPhoto, google photos, and photo lemur to see which got us the most drool worthy pic. Because drool worthy is so subjective, you can see for yourself below.

Personally, I think the Google Photos auto enhance feature hit the nail on the head. Photolemur looks a little unauthentic, and let’s face it, if you’re posting a photo that looks like you spent a lot of time editing it, you’ve already failed, even if it’s a shiny listing photo.

Photolemur looks at your photo pixel by pixel. It can differentiate faces, objects, horizon, and sky and it edits each differently. It can reduce noise in low light shots and can enhance the sky in landscapes so you don’t get white textureless nothing when the sky you’re looking at is true blue.

The app is relatively easy to use. Simply drag your photos into the editor and bam – you’re on your way to awesome pictures.

We tested this with some iPhone snapshots to some disappointment finding the standard phone filters were better at enhancing the mundane daily pictures than photolemur (see above).

Landscapes seem to fare better with their technology, but at $30 this may only be worth it to heavy users, and those folks likely desire a little more control over the look of the photos than photolemur can provide. All in all, it’s a cool tool but won’t put professional photographers out of business.

C. L. Brenton is a staff writer at The American Genius. She loves writing about all things, she’s even won some contests doing it! For everything C. L. check out her website

Social Media

Twitter is calling you out: New feature encourages users to read articles before sharing

(SOCIAL MEDIA) This new feature from Twitter has some mixed feelings, but is already making strides in encouraging mindful sharing and slowing misinformation.

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Person reading Twitter on phone seated on bench with coffee cup.

Everyone reads an article before retweeting it, right? Well, not everyone does, and Twitter will snitch on you if you don’t! In hopes of getting users to read articles before sharing them, Twitter started prompting some users to read an article before they retweeted.

In a tweet from Twitter Support, the company said, “Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you Tweet it.” The social media platform aims to “promote informed discussion” by checking whether you have recently clicked on the article you are about to share. If you haven’t looked at the link recently, you are prompted to confirm if you want to share the article or not.

This “read before you retweet” prompt is a good way of getting people to read the content they are spreading. Without first reading what you are sharing, misleading stories with false information can spread into a virtual wildfire. Personally, I feel this is one of the few good things Twitter is doing right.

If you haven’t already started receiving the “Headlines don’t tell the full story” message, you soon might. Currently, the company is working on bringing the prompts to everyone globally, and they have a good reason for doing so.

Back in June, Twitter started testing the new prompt on a limited number of Android users first. Although the company has only been testing this feature for a few months now, they have already started seeing very promising results. According to the company’s tweet, they have seen three major changes.

First, more people are finally reading. Can you imagine that? After seeing the prompt, 40 percent more people have opened the link to read the article.

Secondly, there has been a rise in “informed tweeting”. More people are not just opening articles. There has been a 33 percent increase in the number of people opening articles before they are even thinking of retweeting them.

Lastly, they have seen some people forgo retweeting the article after opening it up. This means people are choosing to be mindful of the content they want to share.

Twitter has yet to say when the prompt will roll out to everyone, but the results they’ve received are good. Also, you don’t have to worry about the pop-up being so large and annoying, mostly. After you’ve seen the prompt once, it will be smaller the next time you see it. But if you don’t want to see it at all, just read the article before tapping retweet.

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Real Estate Marketing

Chill, Zillow! Real estate giant gets yet another patent

(MARKETING) Zillow grabs yet another broadly worded patent that stands to screw over small businesses. When will it end? …Can it end?

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Pen drawing blueprints, another Zillow patent in the works

In a move that’s surprising to pretty much no one, Zillow gained another patent this year — this time having to do with the presentation of and navigation through photos. Even for the patent fiends themselves, this one is a stretch.

We’ve covered Zillow’s overzealous patent-grabbing before. Between snatching 17 patents over the last decade—one of which deals with the simple matter of filtered searches—and going through a few rounds of finger-pointing with IBM over patent trolling, the real estate company hasn’t exactly endeared itself on this front.

Now, Zillow has succeeded in securing a patent that is sure to throw a wrench in the operation practices of plenty of websites.

The patent itself addresses “image transition sequences between viewing locations”, but the parameters of that description are imaginably vast. Among these parameters are “simulated movement”—whether that be through zooming or simple sequential arrangement of photos—and other effects such as blending, blurring, or rotating.

Presentation methods such as panoramas, videos, and animations are also covered in the patent.

It’s not that Zillow shouldn’t be able to patent something that they pioneered vis-a-vis the field of real estate. But the language in this particular patent is problematic. By securing such a broadly worded option, Zillow has the power to severely restrict the operating potential of competitors. Considering how established Zillow already is in the real estate market, putting another obstacle in front of any feasible competition feels like a cheap shot.

More importantly, Zillow has demonstrated that a feature used by tons of different services can be intercepted and controlled with, apparently, little in the way of regulation. If Zillow wasn’t already under a microscope for their patent-nabbing escapades of the last decade, there’s little hope that the real estate giant will have to answer for this obvious power grab as well.

Patent trolling remains a major issue in plenty of sectors, and real estate certainly isn’t exempt. Especially during a period of time in which small businesses will inherently struggle, patent hoarding and trolling should be met with the strictest of penalties. For now, though, competing real estate services will need to find a new way to conduct virtual tours without stepping on Zillow’s over-large toes.

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Real Estate Marketing

Expand your small business influence with these Instagram analytics tools

(MARKETING) Instagram analytics are crucial to small business success, and it’s worth looking outside Instagram’s in-app analytics for options.

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Instagram symbols on paper over a phone, analytics tracking that.

Chances are if you’re a small business, you’ve probably heard about social media analytics, whether you use them or not.

Instagram specifically has become one of the best platforms for brands to engage users. Businesses are using Instagram Reels to engage a younger audience already familiar with the TikTok format, as well as Instagram Shops which continues to revolutionize ecommerce. As a result, Instagram has 16x higher engagement for top brands compared to Facebook.

When taking advantage of all the features Instagram has to offer, it’s crucial to track user activity so that your brand can produce the most optimal social media presence possible. Here are some top-notch analytics suites geared specifically for small businesses.

Instagram Analytics Tool

The native analytics tool provided on the app may not be the most in-depth, but it is extremely user-friendly, as well as being fast and responsive. If you’re just starting out (or are simply curious about how your content is being consumed), check out Instagram’s native tool.

Owlmetrics

Owlmetrics focuses on demographic and audience analysis, meaning that it can assist brands in getting a clear understanding of their follower base. By using Owlmetrics for demographic breakdowns and tracking follower likes and dislikes, you can more accurately understand your brand’s audience. This is a great option for smaller brands that want to produce and deliver informed content that truly resonates with their followers.

Pixlee

Though not the most thorough of reporting solutions, Pixlee reigns supreme in its ability to quickly create sleek, sharable reports that track key metrics for broad analysis. It is free, but there are additional Pixlee features for a premium (such as an influencer discovery tool). If your brand doesn’t have an expansive social media marketing solution, Pixlee is a fantastic instrument to help with UGC and direct to consumer campaigns.

Iconosquare

When it comes to visualizations of follower growth, reach, and impressions, Iconosquare functions much like Instagram Insights, but does so more efficiently and in a more aesthetically pleasing fashion. Smaller businesses that are looking for a cheap, easy-to-use platform specifically for Instagram and Facebook should consider Iconosquare.

There are countless other analytics platforms out there that can help you and your brand thrive on social media. The trick is to find the right balance of cost and reward – and to invest in a suite that can help you best utilize all the features Instagram has to offer.

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