As both a Brisbane web designer and a recent traveller to New York, I’ve experienced firsthand the joy of Airbnb. And I do mean joy. With basic New York accommodation beginning at $200 a night per person, six weeks before my trip I realised I had drastically under-budgeted. By chance or fate (or perhaps it was simply inevitable given Airbnb’s rising popularity), a friend mentioned using the peer to peer accommodation website Airbnb on her trip to Amsterdam. Within a week I had 12 days accommodation booked in a trendy Nolita loft for only $125 a night, for two people thanks to Airbnb.
Having used the website twice now, I’ve personally recommended it to a number of friends. It’s web design is clear, uncluttered and well designed, reminiscent of Etsy more than Craig’s List or Gum Tree, it can be sorted by price, locality and availability, and it is heavily focused on user reviews- something especially useful when staying in stranger’s homes.
It is no surprise to me that it already has 60k listings on the site and 50% bookings growth monthly. It is also no surprise that other peer to peer or ‘collaborative consumption’ websites such as Vayable, Skyara, Tutorspree, Taskrabbit and Getaround are also creating a stir and generating a fair amount of cash. It’s no wonder that each one of these new peer to peer websites that pops up is referred to as ‘the Airbnb of x’, such as ‘The Airbnb of cars’, ‘the Airbnb of experiences’ etc. given the company’s success.
It is of course a sensible move for Airbnb to partner with Vayable, a website that is an unashamedly direct spin-off of Airbnb, particularly when it comes to its web design. Airbnb and Vayable plan to up-sell one another’s products in what will begin initially as a follow up email sent after a booking, such as, “Oh you’re going to New York? Why not check out a Vayable walking tour of the Lower East Side?”. It is Airbnb’s first partnership of the sort, but as the web fills up with a multitude of ‘Airbnb of x’s’ it seems only fair it should reap the rewards.