mynewplace.com claims to be the first apartment search website to offer an application that connects with social networking utility, Facebook.
mynewplace.com, founded in 2005 by John Helm, currently provides a US apartment search to over 3 million users per month. Users with a Facebook profile can now register with mynewplace.com through their Facebook ID and post properties they are considering on their Facebook homepage, linking these properties to their social network.
Mark Moran, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for mynewplace.com, points out the advantages of the new application:
“Most people want the opinion of friends, family and roommates before choosing a new place to live. Facebook's more than 150 million users can now quickly and easily log into mynewplace.com using their Facebook account, post properties they are interested in to their Facebook page and get feedback and advice from the people that are most important to them.”
A statement released by mynewplace.com says that while just over a third of its users have been shown to have a Facebook account, this number could rise with the launch of the application. The statement also stresses that the privacy settings in place on users’ Facebook profiles will apply to their interactions with mynewplace.com.
Despite the advantages offered by the new Facebook application, there are suggestions it is not yet working to full capacity. A test of the application by multifamilytechnology.com revealed that when properties are added to a Facebook user’s profile they are not displayed in the “news feed” – a list of recent activity Facebook users see immediately after logging in. This means Facebook users will only notice properties added from mynewplace.com when they open a friend’s Facebook homepage. In response to the criticism, mynewplace.com blogger Matt DiChiara commented on the multifamliytechnology.com website that “It will require some time and traction in order for [the application] to be included in Facebook's general news feed.”
Like many other property websites, mynewplace.com has its own Facebook profile and blog, both of which receive comments and suggestions. mynewplace.com also uses the mini-blogging tool Twitter to discuss topics ranging from political decisions to technical issues with its users. The website reported a 131.6% increase in traffic during 2008, but dropped from 16th to 19th place in the January 2009 real estate website rankings released by hitwise.com.