Founded in 1997, ingatlan.com is Hungary’s largest property listings site, dominating the market with an 85 per cent share. Hosting ads from both homeowners and real estate agencies, ingatlan.com sees between 20,000-30,000 photo uploads per day.
The process isn’t as simple as just adding photos to the site, however. Ingatlan.com needs to ensure that all images comply with its terms of service, meaning checking that photos don’t include the names and contact numbers of the advertisers posting them
The website utilised a third-party detection tool for this process. However, this has led to numerous concerns for the company. The tool was expensive to run and required ingatlan.com to send the images to a vendor site exterior to its network for analysis, representing a potential security risk.
The tool also had an overly high number of identification errors in the form of false positives. According to ingatlan.com product manager Tamás Bónis: “The situation frustrated customers because once the tool identified possible text, they couldn’t upload the photo until a moderating team had checked the problem.”
Already using Amazon Web Services for storing and backing photos up in Simple Storage Service, ingatlan.com sought a solution among AWS’s services, eventually replacing the third-party tool with Amazon Rekognition.
Amazon Rekognition automates image analysis through the use of machine learning and the DetectText feature. Ingatlan.com product architect Péter Szabó says that: “By migrating to Amazon Rekognition, we cut the rate of false positives by half.”
This lower rate of false positives means that the moderating team can focus on checking the photos flagged by DetectText, saving 20 hours a day in unnecessary checks. Szabó says: “It’s given the team time to support new services such as video uploads and virtual property tours.”
This means that the company is also saving 60 per cent on text detection costs, enabling it to reduce expenditure, whilst also building a buffer to guard against potential housing market fluctuations.
Product manager Tamás Bónis also points out that “Beyond the savings, AWS is enabling us to enhance security because we no longer send photos for analysis outside of our network to the vendor site.”