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Airbnb adds private room rentals to make traveling less expensive

Published May 3rd, 2023 3:32PM EDT
Image: Airbnb

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Today, Airbnb announced Rooms, a new take on the app’s original concept. This update also adds over 50 new features and upgrades to improve guests’ and hosts’ experiences with Airbnb. According to the platform, over 300 million guest arrivals are expected on Airbnb this year, which explains why the service needs some upgrades.

With Airbnb Rooms, the company expects to make travel more affordable since more than 80% of private rooms are under $100/night, with an average rate of $67/night. In addition, the company says this feature could offer guests a way to meet someone new and experience the city like a local, thanks to their hosts.

“With Airbnb Rooms, we’re getting back to the idea that started it all – back to our founding ethos of sharing,” said Brian Chesky, Airbnb co-founder and CEO. “Airbnb Rooms are often more affordable than hotels, and they’re the most authentic way to experience a city. This is the soul of Airbnb.”

Airbnb RoomsImage source: Airbnb

To improve this experience, the Airbnb app has received a few new features specifically for Rooms, such as:

  • Host Passport – Exclusive to Airbnb Rooms, the Host Passport helps you get to know your Host before booking your stay. Tap the Host Passport to view a larger photo and details Hosts have shared about themselves, including where they went to school, what they do for work, fun facts about themselves, and more.
  • Airbnb Rooms category – Airbnb Rooms are easy to discover, with a new category featuring a curated set of 1 million private bedrooms. Listings include access to shared spaces, like the kitchen, living room, or backyard.
  • Redesigned filters – Airbnb redesigned the “type of place” filter to make it easy to switch between Airbnb Rooms, entire homes, or all types of places.
  • New privacy features – All Airbnb Rooms will clearly indicate if the bedroom door has a lock. The listing page also shows whether the bathrooms are shared or private and whether people other than the Host will be in the home during your stay.
Image source: Airbnb

In addition to Airbnb Rooms, 50+ new features and upgrades are coming to the app to improve the experience with the platform and stays. A few of them are:

  • Total price display – Guests can view the total price with fees, before taxes, across the entire app, including in search results, price filters, maps, and listing pages.
  • Transparent checkout instructions – Guests can now view checkout instructions on the listing page before booking, and they’ll receive a reminder before they leave home. During the review process, guests can tell us about any excessive requests. And listings with repeated low ratings from unreasonable chores will be removed from Airbnb.
  • Improved maps – Used by more than 80 percent of guests, Airbnb updated maps with faster performance, persistent pins when zooming and panning, and more results when searching.
  • Simpler and more affordable monthly stays – For stays over three months, Airbnb is significantly reducing the guest service fee after the third month. Guests in the US can also save for stays over one month when paying with their linked bank account. And when searching, the new Months tab features an all-new interface that makes it easy to dial in a range from 1-12 months.

This update is rolling out today to all users.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.