Have you ever purchased something because you saw your friend or neighbor enjoying it? Absolutely! Who hasn't? But, now, do you answer the same when you see them in the digital space?

New data shows that many people are following their friends purchasing habits online--not just where they purchase but what they purchase--from vacations to home products. This data could be tapped to determine housing trends among very discriminate groups. How are you using it?

Social media has an unmerciful hold on us – and inspires us to eat at a certain restaurant or see a movie. It even makes us renovate our homes.

Homeowners are turning to sites and apps like Pinterest and Instagram (which Facebook FB, +0.11% acquired in 2012) to decorate or remodel their homes — 28% of the 1,500 homeowners surveyed by personal- and student-loan lender SoFi said they made at least one home purchase after seeing a friend’s post. Almost half (44%) of the respondents between 25 and 44 years old said they prefer social media channels for home design over home improvement shows and magazines. Updating kitchens and bathrooms were first on the list for more than a third.

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