Press for Airbnb
As people become increasingly comfortable using web platforms to swap homes, cars, and everything in between (spouses?), some have said that the collaborative consumption movement has the potential to be as profound as the industrial revolution. But, before that can happen, marketplaces and platforms that deal in collaborative consumption need to recognize the importance of ensuring consumer protection, a lesson Airbnb learned the hard way last year.
For lots of startup founders, a big money valuation is just half the goal. Many startups are motivated by a singular drive to change the way we view and interact with the world around us. And while every startup can teach us something, the most disruptive often have the most profound lessons.
Airbnb, the fast-growing, 800-pound gorilla of the vacation rental market, lists more than 7,000 New York City apartments, studios and lofts available by the night or the week—usually offered by homeowners who want to earn a few bucks while they're away on their own excursions.
Airbnb users may have booked 4 million nights of accommodation in 2011, but the room-renting startup didn’t make it easy until now.
The company launched a new booking process on Thursday called “Match” that aims to make searching and booking rooms more efficient. Instead of asking you to find rooms through filtered searches and to message hosts individually, the new tool automates some of the work.
Match recommends places to stay based on criteria such as location, room type and amenities, and presents a slideshow of options that you can vote up or down. When finished sorting, you can then mass-message your favorite hosts for pre-approval.