Lauren Goode

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House-Snooping App Homesnap Launches Website, Plans Android App

Homesnap, a point-and-snap iOS app that gives users details and financial info about other people’s houses, is building some additions and slapping a new name on the mailbox.

Social-ipad

That metaphor not working for you? Okay. The app is adding an aerial map feature called Explore that’s meant to offer better search, as well as a social element that lets house hunters share listings and photos more easily with friends, spouses and opinionated in-laws.

The result: An app that’s suited for couch-browsing in addition to home-stalking on the go. Previously described as “Shazam for house hunting,” Homesnap is now Shazam plus Foursquare Explore plus Facebook Connect plus an Instagram-like feed of photos of houses.

Homesnap also says that it’s putting out an Android app by the end of the month, following its recently launched iPad app.

Lastly, the company behind the app — Sawbuck Realty — is ditching its name and fully adopting Homesnap as its brand, through which it will launch a new real-estate website, Homesnap.com. All of the real-estate info from Sawbuck, which includes multiple-listings service data (MLS), will be ported through the new site.

Homesnap, for those who aren’t familiar with the app, first launched last spring as an iPhone-only mobile app. As AllThingsD’s Walt Mossberg wrote in his full review of the app, “You can just whip out your iPhone, take a picture of the home and in less than a minute, you’ll have an estimate of its price, plus details on its square footage, number of rooms, similar homes for sale and other facts.” The app uses your phone’s built-in GPS to identify the house, and then culls the data from the cloud.

Snaps-ipad

Since its launch, the app has been downloaded around 400,000 times on iPhone. It’s backed by Steve Case’s Revolution Ventures.

Homesnap founder and CEO Guy Wolcott says that Homesnap is still mobile-first. The website is meant to serve as an introduction to the app, as well as a way to share homes with people who aren’t Homesnap users, via email, Twitter and Facebook.

Still, he adds, he expects the site to be “the most robust real-estate site on the Web.”

A bold statement, when going up against Trulia and Zillow. Both claim more than 30 million monthly uniques on the Web, and Zillow has a mobile app that, like Homesnap, gives house “Zestimates” for properties across the U.S.


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