Zillow Announces Zillow Digs

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In the never-ending quest for growth, Zillow (Z) has launched Digs, an online service geared towards home remodeling. Crucially, Digs also gives users an idea of the costs involved.

Seattle-based Zillow has curated tens of thousands of photos and can give users an idea of remodeling costs, based on location and the type of project. Users can save and share the photo boards, and browse boards created by others. Right now, the plan's to keep Dig on Zillow.com and Apple's (AAPL) iPad.

"There are similarities with Pinterest," Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff said in a phone interview. "It's social and beautiful, but it's also highly curated. Pinterest is the open web. Here, you're fishing in a stocked pond."

Zillow worked with independent contractors to create the projects and models, but Rascoff noted there are no plans for monetization yet. "Over the long term, it will become a revenue stream, either through local lead generation, advertising, or there's also an E-commerce aspect here." Previous ventures, such as Rentals and Marketplace, have seen monetization at least two years from launch, while Zillow builds its audience and fine tunes the product. Home remodeling giants such as Lowe's (LOW) and Home Depot (HD) were not part of the project.

Though Zillow is known for its home price estimates and ability to search for a home, Digs opens the door to home remodeling. Some 75% of people who buy a home go on to remodel it, Rascoff said. "This is an online way to access projects in a fun and social way, and have pricing information."

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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