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New mobile IDX takes nontraditional, impressive route

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Mobile IDX soon to be released

Although not yet announced, we have gotten the scoop on Diverse Solution’s new dsSearchAgent Mobile IDX which is in the final stages of getting “polished.”

The company has been beta testing the product recently, and we are most impressed at which route they chose in offering mobile IDX search to their clients.

Why you will be impressed

Rather than choose to develop a mobile app for the iTunes store, the Android Market, BlackBerry World and the like, Diverse Solutions opted for the nontraditional yet impressive route of offering web based mobile IDX search. What that means is that Realtors that have IDX through DS can offer mobile real estate search without forcing consumers to download an app, wait for the app to load, and remember to delete the app later when it clutters their device.

Diverse Solutions CEO Justin LaJoie told us that the search is designed for “more modern touch devices like IOS 4.0+ (iPhone, iPod, iPad), Android v2+ phones, Blackberry v6+ phones. Yes, it works on the iPad!”

For the less tech savvy of our readers, it should be noted that there is not a complicated procedure to make the standard IDX (as already offered on your site through DS) mobile, it is simply a line of javascript that is added to the page so that a smartphone or tablet will see the mobile version of the IDX.

LaJoie notes that “on pages where the our dsSearchAgent Mapping IDX or dsIDXpress WordPress IDX is already residing no additional javascript is needed to enable the mobile IDX.”

No clunky apps, it’s automatic

Now, when a mobile user does a Google search and ends up on one of your property details pages, the device will ask the user if they’d rather use the mobile version. No app to download, no learning curve, just an option to use a well designed, streamlined version of the IDX search that is branded at the top with your name and brokerage.

AG supporter Diverse Solutions has thought not only of the Realtor with branding opportunities, but of the consumer who ultimately has to be happy with the search. The design is slick, simple to understand and offers the features you’ve come to love in their IDX.

Full list of features:

Interface:

  • full search experience in a mobile platform
  • controls are native to each device
  • tab for nearby listings
  • tab for listings near a specific address
  • favorites list
  • easy contact form access
  • clear calls to action
  • oversized buttons and inputs for mobile users
  • central home screen
  • login links on every page

Searching

  • auto complete textboxes
  • instant count of matching results
  • instant map results and sorting
  • scroll through 100 results with no re-loading
  • search input via sliders
  • search multiple data feeds at once
  • universal “wildcard” location box
  • view results in a list or on a map
  • instant results re-sorting
  • collapsible sections for easy input

Advanced filtering

  • foreclosure and short sale search
  • mls listing number search
  • open house search
  • radius search
  • street address search
  • WalkScore search

Location-based features

  • search near any street address
  • use GPS to see nearby listings
  • filter listings by radius

Buyer tools

  • saved favorites
  • recently viewed listings
  • favorites synced with website account

Click here to see the dsSearchAgent Mobile IDX test site.

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

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40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. Ben K

    July 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Awesome! Since I'm a DS customer, I'm ecstatic and definitely looking forward to the mobile search feature.

    • Ricardo Bueno | Diverse Solutions

      July 7, 2011 at 1:37 pm

      Thanks Ben, we're pretty stoked too! I think it's going to bring everything together nicely so you can reach consumers who are accessing content from their mobile devices more and more.

  2. Roland Estrada

    July 7, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    This sound pretty impressive. This would be a great association benefit either free of subsidized – SoCalMLS take note.

    • Ricardo Bueno | Diverse Solutions

      July 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm

      Hi Roland,

      SoCalMLS offers a light version of our dsSearchAgent product as a member benefit already. We'll be doing some live-training with them in the coming weeks/months.

      I'm not sure how this will work into dsSearchAgent Mobile, but the two products integrate seamlessly so we're excited about the release and to be working with folks like SoCalMLS.

  3. Artur

    July 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Welcome news for DS users. RealEstateWebmasters is also coming out with similar approach to the mobile search.

  4. Sam ingersoll

    July 8, 2011 at 7:57 am

    I like the dsidxpress wordpress plugin for seo value but haven't been a fan of the regular ds search because of its low forced lead capture registration rate. That said…having a mobile search rather than another app is fantastic and may be enough to bring me back as a regular customer.

    • Ricardo Bueno | Diverse Solutions

      July 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      Hi Sam,

      Hmm… I'm not sure what you mean here. Tons of our clients have been very successful with dsSearchAgent BECAUSE of it's forced registration feature. Maybe we're getting the products missed here?

      In any case, I'd love to show you some examples of how folks are making best use of either/or.

      As for the mobile search, what's neat is that the product will prompt any visitor coming from a mobile device to navigate the mobile optimized search on either dsIDXpress pages or dsSearchAgent.

      We're rolling out shortly… So check back and let me know if you have any questions!

  5. jarvisteam

    November 4, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    That's a nice puff piece but I wonder if users of mobile devices want to see listings on a browser vs an app. Id vote for an app. Mobile browsing just isn't there yet. Interested in seeing what features overcome this.

    Hoping that DS will upgrade their sales customer service on their next round. ;p

  6. speakingmytruth

    July 17, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    FORGET trying to get any support from Diverse Solutions. THEY ARE HORRIBLE! I called Sales and emailed them TWICE and they can’t even get a response!! NOT going to last in my opinion!!

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Social Media

Reactions to Twitter Blue from real subscribers, p.s. its not worth it

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter’s paid subscription service, Twitter Blue, gives more control over tweets and custom UI, but subscriber reception has been lukewarm.

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Twitter Blue Sign Up Page

Twitter Blue, a paid subscription service that gives users increased control over their tweets and the appearance of their interfaces, launched this summer. Subscriber reception has been lukewarm, foreshadowing some resistance to shifts away from advertising-based revenue models for social media platforms.

The allure of Twitter Blue isn’t immediately apparent; beyond a relatively low price tag and increased exclusivity on a platform that emphasizes individuality, the service doesn’t offer much to alter the Twitter experience. Twitter Blue’s main selling point – the ability to preview and alter tweets before sending them – may not be enough to convince users to shell out the requisite three dollars per month.

Other features include the option to change the theme color and icon appearances. Twitter Blue subscribers can also read some ad-supported news articles without having to view ads courtesy of Twitter’s acquisition of Scroll, a company that provides ad-free news browsing.

But even with this variety of small customization options and the promise of more to come, users are skeptical. Android Central’s Shruti Shekar is one such user, beginning her review with, “Right off the bat, this feature isn’t worth the money you’d be spending on it every month.”

Shekar posits that the majority of the features are wasted on long-term users. “I think a lot of my opinions come from a place of using Twitter for so long in a certain way that I’ve gotten used to it, and now I find it challenging to adapt to something that would theoretically make my life easier,” she explains.

One of those adaptations centers on Twitter Blue’s “Undo Tweet” feature – something that belies the notion of proofreading and using common sense before sending thoughts into the nether.

“For me, 95% of the time, I really do pay attention to my tweets before I send them out,” says Shekar.

Twitter Blue checking Tweets before sending.

Shekar does praise Twitter Blue’s “Reader Mode” feature that allows users to view threads as uninterrupted columns but argues that the feature would probably end up being underutilized despite being a cool concept.

The aforementioned color and theme customization was of little interest to Shekar. “I actually found it a bit challenging to get used to the other colors, not because they’re ugly, but again because I am just so used to the classic blue,” she says.

One problem here is that the options to change link and theme colors and put threads in reader mode seem more like accessibility features than premium content. Twitter might do well to make these available to all users, if for no other reason than to avoid criticism about locking quality of life updates behind a subscription paywall.

Shekar’s criticism hits on a crucial point for any social media company looking to emulate Twitter Blue’s subscription model: Even if the subscription price is low, companies have to be prepared to make actual meaningful changes to the user experience if they want satisfied subscribers. That includes building in options that don’t fundamentally alter the basic aspects (or appearance) of the platform.

For more on Twitter Blue, check out their blog post on it here.

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Instagram flaunts new features, including a decked out desktop experience  

(SOCIAL MEDIA) It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram with additions of Collabs, fundraisers, and desktop posts on deck

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Instagram displayed on a desktop

It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram on both mobile and desktop.

Collabs Feature

“Collabs” allows up to 2 accounts to co-author a post or Reel, both sharing joint ownership of what is ultimately published. The post or Reel will show up equally on both users’ feeds with the same amount of engagement numbers, but combined, including comments, view numbers, and like counts. This is initiated through the tagging screen and the invited account will have to accept the offer before the collab can be complete.

Examples of adding a co-author in Instagram Collabs feature

Fundraiser & Reel Features

Instagram was quick to jump on the short-form content trends taking the social media world by storm. With the rise of TikTok, the Insta platform that was originally focused on static photos added Reels, along the same wavelength of short 15, 30, or 60-second videos, though the competitor has now expanded with the option of 3 minutes. Even so, Instagram is taking the time to improve music-related features within the Reels section of the app, adding “Superbeat” and “Dynamic.” The first adds effects to the video matching the beat of the chosen song, while the latter offers unique and interesting ways to display the song’s lyrics on screen. In addition, they are beginning to test the option to run fundraisers on a post by clicking the + button in the top right corner of the interface.

Examples of Dynamic for Reels feature

 Desktop Feature

FINALLY! Instagram is now realizing just how many users truly enjoy the desktop experience. If one were to compare the platform on the mobile app vs. desktop, they would see the slew of differences between the two with the desktop interface looking like the 1st year Instagram was even introduced. Functionality is no comparison; they only just added the ability to DM on desktop last year. As one can see, there is an extremely limited experience on desktop, but Instagram is now rolling out the ability for users to post from their browsers. Catch us enjoying posts on the big screen!

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Truth Social: Trump’s long-standing battle against Big Tech backfires

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Truth Social is an example of how a new platform, though necessary to keep competition alive, can prove to be fallible before it succeeds.

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Man holding iPhone with Truth Social app download page up, as well as the stock market and Trump in the background on computer screens.

Former President Donald J. Trump announced a new social media platform, dubbed “Truth Social” last week. The platform has since been the recipient of cyber attacks by hacker collective Anonymous and the Software Freedom Conservancy has accused the Trump Media and Technology Group of violating the terms of their software agreement.

The circumstances plaguing Truth Social provide a small (if nuanced) look into the rigors of creating and sustaining new social media platforms in the modern-day. While expanding the number of social media platforms available creates more competition, this platform, in particular, raises some questions about the wisdom of investing in a service that creates an ideological echo chamber, as well as demonstrating that not just anyone can run a social media site.

There’s no denying that this new entry into the world of social media is off to a rocky start. Cyberattacks just hours after Truth Social’s test run left the site in disarray, with fake user accounts for Mike Pence, Steve Bannon, and Donald Trump appearing at various stages of the launch. Truth Social’s hosts eventually took it offline, and the sign-up process is halted for the time being.

Woman holding iPhone showing Truth Social's feed.

Truth Social also has some interesting rules regarding user interactions on their platform, including a non-disparagement clause and the assertion that users can be sued for the content they post, Time reports.

“In addition to terminating or suspending your account, we reserve the right to take appropriate legal action, including without limitation pursuing civil, criminal, and injunctive redress,” says one section of the Truth Social terms of use.

This clause is in stark contrast to the ethos behind Truth Social – a platform that, according to the press release, was “founded with a mission to give a voice to all” and “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech.”

The disparity in messaging versus reality is an understandable mistake, as much of Trump’s mindset was most likely impacted by criticism levied against him on mainstream social media when he had his accounts – and anyone in the same position might reasonably make the same call. However, restricting users to agree with one set political ideology is a perilous precedent to set. Echo chambers aren’t particularly conducive to longevity.

iPhone showing Trump's suspended Twitter account.

The Trump Media and Technology Group also violated the terms of their open-source software of choice when they uploaded the pilot version of Truth Social. According to the licensing agreement associated with Mastodon – the software company TMTG used – users must have access to the source code for the product in question (in this case, Truth Social).

Since the initial users of Truth Social did not receive that access, the social media platform is at risk of permanently losing its rights to the code.

While some of these pitfalls feel proprietary to Trump insofar as his high-profile battle against social media is concerned, the truth is that any development of new social media entries will be messy and fraught with obstacles. Truth Social is just one example of how a new platform – something that is absolutely necessary to keep competition alive – can prove to be publicly fallible far before it ever succeeds.

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