OpenAir 2016 is Airbnb’s annual tech conference and this year our theme was Getting Personal. As we continue to build products that are put to use in the real world and online, we need to consider how we understand people, what they want, how to connect them, and their impact on society. We discussed important issues like identity, matching, trust and safety, fighting discrimination, machine learning, reputation and much more.
We also made a few announcements about some steps we’re taking to make it easier for people to travel with friends, family, or colleagues. Our new products help group travelers at every part of their journey on Airbnb: from discovering the perfect place, to booking a home, to leaving a review about the experience.
Collaborative Wish Lists
A big part of being able to live in a city and getting to know locals is finding the right host and home for your stay. In 2012 we launched a product called Wish Lists to help a traveler discover and save favorite listings for an upcoming trip. Since then, over 20 million guests have used Wish Lists of Airbnb homes to inspire wanderlust, save their favorite places, and find the right place to stay. And now we’re upgrading Wish Lists to make them more accessible for people traveling in groups by launching Collaborative Wish Lists. Collaborative Wish Lists are a new interactive trip planning feature that allows a guest to add travelers to their group and vote on favorite places within a Wish List. Collaborative Wish Lists make trip planning easier, more fun, and more personal by bringing more people into the planning process and helping groups to make plans faster.
Third Party Booking
When travelers find the perfect home, they will want to book the listing and start to make plans. But what if they’re booking for someone else? We’ve seen that 11% of people booking through Airbnb for Business are not booking a home for themselves. Which is why we built Business Travel Booking, a new way to allow employees to book business travel for co-workers. More and more business travelers are choosing to stay with Airbnb while they are on the road, so they get the chance to live in a city, even if it’s for one night. As business travel has tripled in growth on Airbnb in 2016, this new feature allows business partners like travel managers and executive assistants to be able to book Airbnb listings on behalf of other employees. By adding this new feature, we will alleviate the stress of booking for other people, and help hosts have more transparency on who will be staying in their home.
Finally, once a traveler has stayed on Airbnb, leaving a review helps show others on the platform how they can also feel at home in a different city. Both a host and a guest have the opportunity to leave reviews, however, a host could only review the traveler who booked the listing. When a traveler gets a review it helps them build a reputation and trust with hosts on Airbnb. To help new guests to establish their reputation on Airbnb even before they’ve booked their first listing, we are rolling out Multi-Party Reviews. At the end of a group stay that includes multiple guests, the host will be able to write a review that applies to all of the guests in the group.
With each of these features, our aim is to bring people together – whether that’s by making collaboration easier or fostering trust and transparency with new, more robust reviewing tools. We hope you’ll give some of these new features a try on your next Airbnb stay.