The sheer absurdity of the entries also contributes to the engaging content. “It’s really fun to have a virtually endless supply of very interesting things to look at,” Mr. Boner said. “There will always be someone who has too much money and too much creativity, which makes Frankenstein at home.”
Zillow surfing is especially popular with teenagers. The TikTok memo during the summer was that users talked about knowing where the bathrooms in their friend’s or shredder’s house were before they even visited him, because they had passed through all of their classmates’ homes in Zillow. Many young people have extensive lists of stored homes and discuss and share records with friends.
“We have no control over where we live because most of us live in our parents’ house,” Ms. Silva said, “so we can create this world where I choose where I live and what house I live in, no matter the price. she is funny. “
After Ariel Norling, 29, a designer in Oakland, became famous on Twitter’s Zillow by identifying unique, enviable lists across the country, launching a weekly newsletter on the Substack home hunt called I Know A Spot. “I’ve always been a Zillow scroller,” she said, “but it’s been a big activity for me as part of the quarantine.” I felt like I was running out of things, Zillow felt like a different kind of outlet. “
Ali Zaidi, 40, a lawyer in Boston, prefers Redfin to Zillow and has made checking his position part of his morning routine, although he has no plans to buy a house. “It’s part of my morning,” he said. “I sign up for my work email, check various media, then one of the sites I open is always Redfin.”
He compared the serotonin rush of seeing beautifully arranged houses with checking social media and viewing pictures of people’s private lives. “I have the same kind of joy in looking at Redfin as on Facebook or Instagram,” he said. “I find it interesting and almost voyeur.”
However, what sets Zillow apart from these social networks is the absence of people, noted writer Brian Feldman in its BNet newsletter this summer. “It has no engagement loop, no social interactions, no real network effects to talk about,” he wrote. “It’s a giant canvas on which people project their desires and insecurities, and a constantly evolving document not only of the housing market, but also of how people have lived.”
Although the site has not yet been played on social networks, it has many users asked Zillow to add a comment section where surfers can join and connect with listings.
“I think for many people, Zillow feels the opposite.” doom roll“Mrs. Norling said. “You’re stuck in your apartment, you may not be able to move, but it’s easy to look at the listings and imagine you’re in another life.” And maybe Covid doesn’t happen in that life. “