I Dig Dueling Digs

Zillow, which seems to produce new features almost daily, has birthed something totally unique. As a member of Zillow’s board of directors, I usually get previews into what’s coming through the pipeline, but with this release, I hadn’t seen too many of the details.

Dueling Digs is like nothing I’ve ever seen on a real estate site. It’s pretty simple, really: You are presented with two photos, and click on the picture that you like better. After ten “duels,

24 thoughts on “I Dig Dueling Digs

  1. Zillow gets all of its revenue from advertising…when you’re playing DD, you’re also being exposed to targeted advertising (e.g. when I was looking at those backyards, John Deere was showing me its lawnmower and tractor selection). More page views = more ad inventory to sell.
    And anything that makes users engage and use the site helps to drive traffic. Click away!

  2. I too am a big Dueling Digs fan. I’m using it to help me with ideas on my bathroom remodel right now. It’s a great way to figure out what you like and what you don’t.

    – Spencer (from Zillow)

  3. So, here is one of my questions, and major concerns, that I see about this situation. For agents who hire professional photographers to create photos for marketing our listings the licensing agreements that typically come with those arrangements do not allow for them to be used outside of the marketing of the home, or the services of the agent. This DD “product” of Zillow doesn’t meet either of those criteria because my guess is that the agent or photographer aren’t getting credit or marketing within the context of DD. Does Zillow cause a licensing infringement by using photos in this way? Is the choice of photos random?

    Will the company have to defend itself in a class action lawsuit if professional photographers band together to stop the practice unless they are given appropriate credit or payment for the use of their image? Or, is it buried somewhere in the sites user notices that if an agent posts a listing that they lose the right to claim the photo – even if that photo was paid for via a pro who has a licensing agreement with the agent only.

    People might think I’m being paranoid here but I’ve worked in enough fields where licensing is a big issue (think software, media, etc) that it’s worth wondering about.

  4. I don’t believe they’d be using listing photos. That would be a violation of NWMLS rules and maybe the rules of other MLS’s. Presumably they only use photos uploaded by the public, and uploading a photo comes with disclaimers of some sort, saying this photo is now the property of Zillow.

  5. Reba — the terms and conditions, which one agrees to when they upload, give Zillow the right to use the photos for this and other purposes. I know when I hire a photographer to shoot my listing, I get authority to do whatever I want with those photos, including put them online and “out there” for the world to see. That’s the point of it.

    As for privacy..well, what can you do? You’ve uploaded that picture of your master bedroom closet, warts and all. It’s out there. I think the horse is out of the barn.

    And libel? Unless the photos are somehow altered. I don’t think it’s libelous if your ugly green carpet doesn’t win all of its head to head encounters. The photo don’t get altered in this process.

  6. My wife has been so active on “digs” since I showed it to her, that I couldn’t resist giving the idea a shot on our blog, PhiladelphiaRealEstateHub.Com. The result is “Space-Off” a play on our company name. I’d be interested to here if anyone else out there is brainstorming ways to implement Zillow’s cool concept on their sites…

    [Also want to mention that the links to the project pages feature a custom engenu (http://www.bloodhoundrealty.com/BloodhoundBlog/?p=3006) skin in action.]

  7. Dueling Digs is definitely fun, and I can see it being addictive. And it has some interesting features to drive continued usage. You forgot to mention (or maybe it is a new feature) that it will tell you your style as well.

    Gordon, I find it interesting that one of the uses you see is being able to print out examples of the rooms you like for use in planning a future remodel or new home. Your scrapbook sounds much like the binder that launched HomeSavvi. But rather than ideas for a new home it was for a full house remodel. HomeSavvi offers an online binder for saving pictures of inspiring remodels, gathering remodeling professionals information and more. Definitely for more for people who are decided on the remodel side of move or remodel, or who just bought a new house with the intention of remodeling it.

  8. Zillow is always fun. But I really dont see much value. Buying a home these days is about getting a deal. Its might have worked in the boom times.

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