Rightmove getting set to launch new social media 'Placebook'
Wednesday 19th January 2011
Rightmove has been quietly testing a new social media website. The 'Placebook' of social networking, it has massive potential by effectively giving every local community in Britain their own individual website.
Communities will be able to post up all their goings-on, whilst individuals will be able to contribute everything from diaries to comments, and articles to photographs.
In Beta mode at the moment, the ‘hyperlocal’ Rightmoveplaces takes the Rightmove plc proposition on from just offering a property portal. RIghtmoveplaces will launch as a completely new platform late spring or early summer. When asked about the venture, Rightmove was at pains to emphasise its potential value to agents.
The site will allow people to write reviews about places, plus local events, restaurants, shops, schools, etc, as well as post photographs, questions, articles and links.
The site will also allow users to score the places they live, and pit their wits against Rightmove director Miles Shipside in a ‘house price game’.
The new site, which is separate from Rightmove although it links to it, has not been promoted or publicised anywhere.
However, Twitter followers were this week sent a tweet which dropped a small clue: “How much am I on the market for? I have 5 bedrooms and I’m a 600 year old windmill.”
Rightmove confirmed that Rightmoveplaces will launch “in the coming months”.
A spokesman described it as an innovative new social media website aimed at providing home-hunters with an at-a-glance overview of the locations where they are searching for property.
He said: “Major brands are growing more and more aware of the need to provide relevant hyperlocal content to their consumers as shown by the recent launch of sites such as Google Hotpot, Facebook Places and Yahoo Local. Rightmove Places will bring this dimension to the property search process, which is by definition a highly localised process.
“The site will utilise user-generated content in the form of reviews, tips and comments on each location to provide a snapshot of what it is like to live there. It also offers agents the opportunity to demonstrate their local knowledge and further their profile in front of landlords, tenants, vendors and buyers.”
Shipside said: “Rightmove Places is very simple and open to use. It is based on people from, or familiar with, an area sharing their views and tips on what it’s like to live, work and play there. Local agents tend to be among the most informed people in a town and so sharing this knowledge on Rightmove Places will be a great way of raising their local profile within an informal social media setting.
“Savvy agents who are able to contribute interesting local content and discussion will gain real value from the site, though it is important for them to also understand the correct protocols which are part and parcel of this new media.
“The new site allows people to share and discover more info about an area without this engagement over-cluttering the clean and simple user experience on Rightmove.co.uk
“We all know about the massive growth of Facebook and similar social media sites. However, agents often ask how they can utilise these channels more effectively.
“The trend for major brands to generate more targeted hyperlocal content for their consumers offered us a great opportunity to create a social media property platform for the public to engage with that agents can utilise as well.”
Rightmove already has a social media strategy and recently became the first property website to add the Facebook ‘like’ plugin to each property details page, allowing for content to be shared between home-hunters and their friends.
Shipside added: “Rightmove member agents will already know from our work on mobile platforms such as the iPhone and iPad that by leading the way on the latest consumer trends we can add real value to their membership and increase their profile to home-hunters.
“We’re confident that over time Rightmoveplaces can be similarly effective.”
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Editorial Contact Details - Rosalind Renshaw