Will the new Twitter features affect real estate?

At a recent invite-only developer meeting, Twitter announced several updates to their “Cards” feature. Judging at the surface of where this appears to be heading, there may be an interesting offering for folks interesting in sharing and consuming real estate content.

What are Twitter Cards?

In short, Cards offer the ability to expand the content of a particular tweet. Usually, this expansion includes rich content such as photos, videos, articles, and music.

Twitter has just released three new types of Cards:

App – will show information about an app (name, price, rating, etc…)

Product – will show an item’s picture and description, maybe even price

Gallery – will show a collection of photographs, through a preview of the gallery

muvin-card1.jpg

How do Cards work?

Cards allow deep-linking into web pages and mobile apps. Using an aforementioned Gallery Card as an example; if a user tweets out a photo gallery, others can click and move seamlessly into the original web or mobile app that produced that gallery. More importantly, from a mobile side, they give the user who discovered that gallery, a clear path to download the respective app on their device.

Discovery vs. Search

Most people associate real estate as something people search. I tend to agree with most people. However, I also believe that discovery shouldn’t go overlooked when it comes to the future of information consumption; especially in real estate. This may be an opportunity to leverage Twitter as a discovery engine to reach potential home buyers, or to capture the interest of those simply interested in the “entertainment” aspect of real estate.

Preliminary tips for using Cards

There are some important things to understand, should you eventually decide to dive in:

There is a certain level of markup language required to use them, so make sure you have a someone available to implement and maintain it.
As I mentioned above, Cards typically contain visually rich content. If you are going to leverage such content, make sure your visuals are above par. Take pride in your photos and videos. NOTE: This should be something you’re already doing ; )
Focus on mobile. If you haven’t bought into the fact that mobile is the future of everything, Cards aren’t for you. If Cards are used appropriately, you can drive unprecedented amounts of traffic from Twitter to your mobile app.
Stay tuned for more updates on the Twitter front. I’m very curious to see how this plays out.