RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

APR 2019

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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RISMedia's REAL ESTATE April 2019 115 day's social media sites, such as likes, follower counts and emoji reac - tions. The network allegedly focuses on the human connection to reduce privacy concerns and the addictive quality of social media. The platform runs on Holochain, an alternative to blockchain that promises similar data security benefits. Diaspora – Similar to Twitter, Di - aspora allows users to save their data on independently-run serv - ers, or "pods," located around the world. Users can choose which pod to sign up with, reducing risk, as no central server is housing an individual's sensitive account infor - mation. Some of these pods have cross-posting capabilities, allowing users to still participate in more traditional social media platforms. In addition, with Diaspora, users can choose what others see in terms of the content they post. As with Twitter, Diaspora users can use hashtags to label and follow interests. Additionally, the Aspects feature allows users to organize their contacts according to their role, making segmenting posts a bit easier. Sola – As Facebook and Instagram currently do, Sola uses AI algo - rithms and user reactions to seg- ment and share information. The technology analyzes what is rel - evant and valuable for each user and begins prioritizing that type of content on their respective pages. This network gives users the oppor - tunity to monetize their posts—a feature that over 700,000 are using. Minds – This platform shares simi - larities with Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, and has 2 million users. Since the network is available to the public, everyone can contribute and review the code, customizing the platform according to their needs. In addition, users can monetize their content using peer-to-peer ad - vertising. In terms of features, the news feed is similar to Facebook and users can use Discovery to find relevant, interesting content; the blog to post their own content; and Groups to network with community members that have similar inter - ests. This network has 200,000 monthly active users. Mastodon – Similar to Twitter in that it has a 500-character limit on its messages, or "toots," this platform runs on open-source software and does not allow ads. The network reportedly has anti-abuse tools in place, in addition to moderators, to ensure privacy of data and posts that adhere to a code of conduct. Powered by donations, this network has around 1.6 million users. A Focus on Narrative Rather Than Networking What many of these platforms have in common is the inability to out - right advertise. Agents can, howev- er, still use these networks to con- nect with their clients and potential leads—they'll just have to rely on storytelling, rather than promotion - al language, to market themselves. What does this mean? The future may be seeing a shift in the way people communicate online, even in vendor-to-consumer interactions. In order to establish reciprocal re - lationships on these sites, agents may have to blur the line between business contact and personal friend. For example, since most of these platforms allow users to seg - ment their posts and choose who gets to see them, if agents wind up in a "business only" category, they won't see the posts being shared with that individual's "personal" contacts, and therefore won't have as much content they can leverage to further develop that relationship and stay top-of-mind. Think major life changes like getting married or having a baby—these topics can typically be used as a way to start a conversation and build a strong follow-up system with past clients, but if agents aren't seeing this in - formation, they have less reason to connect, making them appear more salesy in their outreach. A Better Choice? While blockchain does promote added security, as with anything, there are loopholes and concerns to consider. These platforms are still new and largely untested, and because of the anonymity associ - ated with blockchain technology, subscribers could use these plat - forms to hide their identities for fraudulent purposes. Additionally, as these are so new, scalability is an issue. While Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms have established reputations, users may not necessarily jump ship on the familiar to venture to platforms that operate in a completely differ - ent arena. Many of these platforms also charge—an immediate deal- breaker for many consumers who have become accustomed to free social media access. If they do gain traction, however, agents should be prepared to adapt to a new method of online market - ing. In an increasingly competitive tech world, it's safe to say that to - day's social media giants would be quick to adopt similar technology should it catch on. RE Liz Dominguez is RISMedia's associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.

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