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Lovely: apartment search by photo tool built in one weekend

As the visual web proves to be more than a trend, rather is the next evolution of the web, Lovely tinkers in their lab to put their mark on visual apartment hunting.

lovely visual search

lovely visual search

Riding the visual web train

We’ve been talking for some time about the rise of the visual web here at AG, noting that social networks are seeing higher interaction on status updates with photos (example: Facebook), and social media sites relying primarily on the visual element over text (example: Pinterest) paired with the burgeoning photo sharing apps that come standard with any smartphone (example: Instagram), the online community is trading in prose for photos.

In that vein, Lovely, a growing national search site, spent one weekend in their San Francisco offices tinkering for fun, which resulted in their new photo based search results tool.

At the top of the page, a user chooses their desired city and neighborhood with more cities covered every month. Then, results can be filtered by price and number of rooms, which presents rows of images from search results, which, let’s face it, is the next most important information besides price, location, and size filters.

Each image can be clicked for more results, and users can go on to see all of the listing’s results. The tool is not universally useful, but for those just getting started on their search, it is a great way to get a feel for what’s on the market, or what a neighborhood is like, or even what kind of quality can be expected in a specific price range.

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Maps were the 2008 revolution. Visual is so NOW.

Just as map search became the hot ticket for apartment/rental search sites in 2008, visual search results are going to be the hot ticket for 2013, but Lovely’s tinkering put them a step ahead of the trend. After decades of lame websites filled with walls of words in ten point font, the ease of searching visually is finally coming to fruition – watch for more to follow in short order.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jack Cassedy

    September 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Very cool. How does the tool work? Does it take all of the photos from a listing and throw them into the image grid or just one? 
     
    A tool like this can definitely increase the amount of time visitors spend on a site.

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