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Tagwhat augmented reality app may offer a real estate channel, get there first



Tagwhat circa 2010

We introduced you to the Tagwhat augmented reality (AR) app in early 2010 and have watched it turn into a completely robust system with new features that we feel strongly have major real estate implications.

The app originally allowed users to hold up their phone to write and see other users’ notes above buildings, landmarks, parks, theaters and the like. Tagwhat founder Dave Elchoness told AGBeat that real estate professionals took to the app immediately and understood the value of a consumer home shopping and holding up their phone in a neighborhood to see information pop up above a house with the listing agent’s contact information.

Tagwhat today is multi-media storytelling

The only problem is that with the first iteration, a large portion of users left updates above locations that were relatively meaningless. Tagwhat studied their network and realized that they were sitting on a gold mine that wasn’t reaching its potential, despite being one of the first to the augmented reality field.

Now, “Tagwhat tells great stories about the places around you. All you have to do is look through your mobile like a window. With Tagwhat, stories pop up as “tags” right on top of their actual locations in real life. Turn around and watch as stories update based on where you’re looking! With a range of channels from movies to sports, music to history, Tagwhat is a world of originally produced and curated videos, photos, and audio to enjoy against the backdrop of your real life. Remember your experiences by collecting digital postcards that you can personalize and save in Tagwhat or share with friends.”

Here is a sample of what a Tagwhat multi-media story looks like on an iPhone:

Could a real estate channel be coming?

The company is curating original content and seeking out quality content to add and will be opening their publishing platform soon with rumors that there could be a real estate channel, so people seeking information on housing can find it, and those who are not are not annoyed by it.

Tagwhat content is completely shareable, but instead of just sharing a link on a user’s Facebook page, a “Tagwhat postcard” is created and made ready for sharing on most social networks. The package is much more creative and compelling than the standard “look what I found” link sharing of yesterday.

Tagwhat works with the iPhone 3G2, iPhone 4G, all Android devices and consistently receives high ratings across the platforms. Tagwhat has also updated their format so that it is compass driven visual orientation, offering a grid format as an effort to be more responsible and transparent, meaning that Tagwhat acknowledges that GPS technology is not 100% reliable and that devices are not advanced enough to keep a stable AR image on the screen. This approach is pretty unique in the AR field.

How you can use Tagwhat for real estate

If Tagwhat establishes a real estate channel and allows Realtors to submit content for consideration of inclusion, the implications are huge for Realtors.

If an early adopter Realtor creates a quality video tour of a subdivision, interviews neighbors, collects pictures of the ground breaking all the way to the completed subdivision, and writes up a short history of the subdivision, then submits it to Tagwhat for inclusion and sends business cards to all the doors encouraging them to check out the augmented reality version of their neighbhorhood, guess who the expert is?

The history of a company can be told in video or pictures and turned into a multi-media story for Tagwhat and included as a visual map marker for a real estate office. Realtors that have real expertise in an area can act not only as an impromptu historian, but can share housing statistics over the years (“did you know that from 2000 to 2010, values in X area increased 12%?” “the first house built in X area recently sold for 700% of its original 1932 sales price of $23,000”). Brilliant.

Elchoness told us they will soon be opening the platform to beta publishers, so if you want to be that Realtor who gets to the finish line first, email dave(at)

We have long advocated for augmented reality, especially over other technologies, and we believe it to have the best chances of success in the long run.

The American Genius (AG) 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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  1. Dave Elchoness

    August 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks so much for such a thoughtful article on Tagwhat. The response has been great and we're looking forward to opening the publishing interface to your readers very soon. Please stay tuned!

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Social Media

Facebook wants your nudes now to protect you from revenge porn later

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook, attempting to get in front of revenge porn, is requesting that users send in all of their nudes.



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In a heroic and totally innovative attempt to combat revenge porn, Facebook has come up with the following solution: “PM US UR NUDEZ.”

No seriously. They want your nudes.

But don’t worry, they’re only going to be viewed by a small group of people for manual confirmation of said nudes, and then stored temporarily… for reasons.

That part gets a little fuzzy. Some sources report that Facebook isn’t actually storing the images, just the links. This is meant to convert the image to a digital footprint, known as a hash, which is supposed to prevent the content from being upload to Facebook again.

Others say Facebook only stores the images for a short period of time and then deletes them.

What we do know, is this is a new program being tested in Australia where Facebook has partnered with a small government agency known as e-Safety and is requesting intimate or nude photos that could potentially be used for revenge porn in an effort to pre-emptively prevent such an incident.

Revenge porn is basically when someone uploads your personal and private photos online without your consent. Rather than address the issue of whether or not it’s such a good idea to take photos on a mobile, hackable device, it’s better to just send a large corporation all your nudes… through their Messenger app. /sarcasm

For your protection.

According to the commissioner of the e-Safety office, Julie Inman Grant, however, they’re using artificial intelligence and photo-matching technologies… and storing the links!

If this isn’t convincing enough, British law firm Mishcon de Reya LLP wrote in a statement to Newsweek, “We would expect that Facebook has absolutely watertight systems to guard the privacy of victims. It is quite counter-intuitive to send such intimate images to an unknown recipient.”

Oh, she wasn’t joking.

I’m not sure how many people still hold onto old intimate photos of themselves, but I am doubtful that it’s enough for this to really be effective as it only prevents intimate photos from being shared on Facebook. At least that’s the plan.

Reactions to this announcement have largely been met with amusement and criticism ranging from commentary on Mark Zuckerberg and Co. being total pervs, and theories of shared Facebook memories: “”Happy Memories: It’s been 1 Year since you uploaded 47 pictures of you in your birthday suit”!

Either way, I can only imagine someone’s inbox is flooded with crotch shots right now, and Zuckerberg has a potential new industry in the works.

Just sayin’.

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Social Media

Twitter might make a profit for the first time… ever

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter seems to be very popular but it may surprise you to know that this is the very first time they might make a profit.



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Twitter reports that after a year of slashing expenses and putting itself in a position to sell data to other companies, it’s expected to be profitable. What’s surprising (considering how #huge Twitter is) is that this the first time that it will be profitable based on “generally accepted accounting principles” – #GAAP!.

In the 11 years since Twitter took to the field, it has never once met this standard, operating at a loss of nearly 2.5 billion dollars since its inception.

Twitter has struggled of a number of reasons, but particularly after going public in 2013 it suffered declining user growth, the rise of the #twittertrolls (coincidentally, Troll’s are discussed in my favorite TIME piece about the internet – located here), and competition from Facebook for the tough realm of advertising.

Since 2013, shares fell steadily, but things have increased thanks to some optimistic changes – the promise to crack down on harassment and abuse, a feed arranged by algorithm instead of time, and Twitter’s most vocal fan of late, President Donald Trump.

For the numbers fans, Reuters provides some input: Twitter’s loss narrowed to about 21 million down from 103 million this year. They have worked to cut a great deal of expenses -16 percent across the board broadly impacting sales, marketing, and R&D.

This kind of focused core improvement (can) help tip the balance sheet on the expenses side – but generating revenues remains a challenge due to slow growth. Twitter hopes to relieve this by working out some deals to sell data – the currency of the 21st century.

Several months ago, TechCrunch made perhaps the most important observation – that despite the fact Twitter has changed the world, changed our marketing, and empowered us to connect with other people, it has remained unprofitable. Many small and large businesses profit from Twitter, but in these 11 years the company hasn’t #sharedinthewealth.

Twitter is touching every realm of business and for American’s, is touching every aspect of their lives given its new form as the preferred medium of the political sphere. Given that, they have much to do to change.

Facebook commands an audience five times the size of Twitter – and their ability to reach success for the future seems #questionable. And how Twitter’s success changes the scape of influence, outreach, and entrepreneurship is something else to be seen.

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Social Media

Is Facebook a potential Slack killer?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook’s steady ascent from social networking into the business world is giving Slack a run for their money.



slack facebook

When it comes to the business realm, Facebook has steadily been increasing their reputation. Though Facebook is pinned as the social network, they are now proving to everyone that they can dominate in the professional sector as well.

Last year, Facebook launched an ad-free version of the site meant for the office called Workplace. Initially, 1,000 companies were signed on to try out this “Facebook for the office” in its starter phase.

As of last week, Facebook announced that 30,000 organizations currently use Workplace. These aren’t just small time companies. Some of Workplace’s users include Starbucks, Lyft, Spotify, Heineken, Delta and most recently Walmart.

It seems that overnight it grew from another side project to a valid rival for other professional communication tools like Slack.

Slack is the go-to site for business professionals. With over 6 million users and acquiring more every day, Slack is the place for teams to collaborate in real-time. It has virtually replaced email and external software when it comes to internal communication.

Slack has been successful at acquiring small corporations to use their service.

The problem is that Slack has yet to join forces with larger clients that have now turned to other applications. Just last year, Uber left Slack because they could not handle their large-scale communication needs.

In addition to being able to handle the needs of large companies, Facebook also offers cheaper services than Slack. A premium account with Workplace costs $3 per user each month while Slack charges double at $6.67 per user each month.

With the rapid growth and major reputation of Facebook behind it, many predict that Workplace will replace Slack, and other sites like it, in the not so distant future.

Recently, Facebook also launched the Workplace desktop app and plan to include group video chat. The biggest obstacle Workplace faces is the association with Facebook. It is ironic, since it is also their greatest strength.

The truth remains that many people think of Facebook solely as a social media network. Many companies forbid the use of it at work so the transition from the personal to the professional realm is still an uphill battle.

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