US firm Anttenna has unveiled a free iPhone application that it says reinvents classified advertising as “microlistings”.
Anttenna delivers a real-time, location-aware and mobile consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer microlistings marketplace for the buying, selling, and bartering of goods and services. The app is available from today in most major metropolitan areas across the US and Canada, building on the success of pilots in San Diego, Seattle, and Austin.
Taking advantage of the reach, openness and familiarity of the Twitter platform, and the exploding popularity of smartphones, Anttenna enables instantaneous, location-aware person-to-person communication and exchange that is efficient and consistent with the “tweet” communication format.
“Anttenna is like a swap meet in your pocket,” says Marcus Wandell, Anttenna’s co-founder and CEO. “This year, more people will access the internet on their phones than they will on computers, and smartphones are influencing the very fabric of the internet with portability, geo-positioning and mobile applications.
“With the exception of posting ads online and making them searchable, classified ads haven’t really evolved all that much since they were introduced 300 years ago; certainly not to the point of harnessing this technology revolution that will see billions of smartphones in use around the world in just a couple of years. Anttenna fully leverages the smartphone platforms and new communications standards to give people a whole new way to use classified advertising. Anttenna delivers a constant stream of hyper-local, real-time listings, always relevant, given the moment and location in which they are seen.”
The app facilitates real-time, location-based, person-to-person exchanges by turning traditional classified listings into geo-tagged, twitter-sized microlistings. Potential buyers can search through the Anttenna marketplace to find items or services they’re looking for, all in proximity to where they are at that moment. Microlistings could include finding a concert ticket on location at a music festival, helping a lost pet reunite with her owner or finding a free sofa that is in need of a good home.
The idea for the app came when Wandell found himself wandering through a music festival in New York City, and wanted a way for the various vendors at the event to send information about what they were selling, their locations and any offers they might have to his GPS-enabled smartphone.
“The feedback from people during the Anttenna pilot was overwhelming,” says Hunter Jensen, Anttenna’s co-founder and CTO. “These early Anttenna users loved the ease of use and functionality that comes from seamless integration with the Twitter ecosystem. Leveraging Twitter’s platform, we give people the ability to instantly communicate with each other by ‘Anttweeting,’ with the huge privacy benefit of not having to share personal information such as phone numbers or email addresses.”
The company says the concept of community is also central to its vision. Anttenna provides tools and services geared towards non-profits and other volunteer-based civic organizations. On the eve of Anttenna’s launch party, the Anttenna platform was used to raise awareness and over $1,000 for a San Diego non-profit initiative called The Campaign for Abandoned Youth, in partnership with the San Diego non-profit, StayClassy.org, which supports charity causes by providing them with software as a service and social media tools to raise money. Anttenna also has teamed up with the Muscular Dystrophy Association in several cities to spread the word about the locations of donation collection teams.
Anttenna says it intends to build out its category verticals by striking meaningful national distribution partnerships for each category. For example, the founders of Anttenna and adoptapet.com are currently figuring out how to blend their services to better tackle local animal shelter overpopulation by connecting Anttenna users with animals that need homes.
Using Anttenna’s Quick Post Widget on their website, partners can enhance their site experience by providing their users with a mechanism to tweet about their company for them, with each Quick Post including the company’s @mention or #hashtag, an address that places a drop pin on all location-aware Twitter apps, and a cross-platform classified look and feel.
“While the commercial applications of Anttenna are incredibly powerful, I am most excited about our ‘Community’ section,” says Wandell. “Through categories like Volunteer, Carpool, Borrow/Lend, and even Couchsurf, Anttenna has put community first. Above all else, we intend to deliver an invaluable service through which users can connect with one another, find resources, and spread awareness of important efforts across their broader community.”