A few months ago my company rented a place on Airbnb for four nights during a business trip to San Francisco. The Dreamforce conference happened to be going on so even the mediocre hotels were north of $300 a night.
All was well in our two-bedroom, $400 a night condo until it came time to leave. The host sent me a lengthy list of “checkout duties”: strip the sheets, put the towels in the laundry, wash the dishes, put the keys in some special envelope, and on and on.
Unlike with other online marketplaces, like eBay or Amazon, Airbnb’s design incorporates large profile pictures of its sellers. That design feature led Harvard Business School Professors Benjamin Edelman and Michael Luca to conduct a study called “Digital Discrimination: The Case of Airbnb.com,” wherein they evaluated how the race, gender, age and appearance of a landlord affected the prices of comparable listings in New York City. Read More
Even creator Ev Williams is still figuring out what Medium should be. Hopefully the redesign helps? [Fast Company]
On Cyber Monday, Pinterest nearly tripled the revenue on retail sites that it sent traffic to. [TechCrunch]
Here’s what happens when you use bitcoins to purchase gifts on your Christmas list: you commission a portrait of your cat. [Time]
Airbnb’s new San Francisco headquarters have mini apartments influenced by major cities, like Bali and Paris. [PSFK]
Until Snapchat fesses up, we’re never going to know how many snaps are actually sent a day. [BuzzFeed]
Included in the refreshed Twitter app are wonky new animations, new search features and news about trending television shows. [TechCrunch]
Smart Apartments, better known as one of the city’s most “notorious” Airbnb landlords, settled a lawsuit with New York City yesterday. It has to shut down and pay a $1 million penalty. [Skift]
Get excited for Amazon-branded grocery items as the company continues its quest for world domination. [AllThingsD]
Google Glass is now open to developers, so porn? [CNet]
Bitcoin licenses for sellers might become a thing that exists in New York. The state is going to soon start holding hearings about regulating the digital currency. [The Verge]
Dan Porter said ominously that he “knew it was our time” to sell OMGPop to Zynga before it was taken out back and essentially shot. [New York Times]
Over the next six months, Google is improving the blockage of child porn using technology that tags pictures and keywords as illegal. [Telegraph]
Apple is close to snapping up Israeli company PrimeSense, which developed the technology behind Kinect. [Digital Trends]
OK: “Watch Airbnb’s Chef Rap About Food at a Hackthon.” [TechCrunch]
This week, Amazon will introduce Sunday delivery via USPS in New York and Los Angeles. [Los Angeles Times]
Vox Media picked up the Curbed family of websites (including Eater) for an estimated $20 to $30 million in a mix of cash and stock. [New York Times]
Apple is rumored to be developing two new, curved phones that range from 4.7 to 5.5 inches which is a perfectly FINE size. [Bloomberg]
Netflix and YouTube now account for nearly half of your broadband service during primetime. Notably, Hulu and Amazon trail far behind. [AllThingsD]
The most interesting part of this story is that of course Airbnb has a Head of Global Hospitality position. [Skift]
When Joshua Bocanegra created a landing page for a new app called LoveRoom, he wasn’t expecting to receive 900 potential members’ email addresses, or any online press attention, but he did. We covered it (noting that it wouldn’t be live for a few months), as did a few others. But yesterday, Forbes insisted that LoveRoom was fake, and bad at being fake to boot.
Forbes charged that the Airbnb-esque platform was nothing more than an idea before it was “willed into existence by journalists.” But its founder told us today he’s been planning a dating site for months.
Mr. Bocanegra responded to the hoopla with a post on–what else?–Medium. This afternoon, he emailed us a link to the treatise, entitled “LoveRoom Is Real.” It links to another piece by him entitled, Read More
Airbnb users who are sick of hosting uggos will be pleased to learn there’s a new startup in town whose goal is to let temporary tenants and landlords match up with hotties they’d like to bang.
Specifically, LoveRoom is “a platform where single people from all around the world can rent their living space to others they find attractive,” founder Joshua Bocanegra told us. “If you like using Airbnb and you like using Tinder, you’ll really like LoveRoom.”
What could possibly go wrong? Read More
After notching a victory in the case of host Nigel Warren, locking down the legality of hosting while you’re still on the premises, Airbnb is dealing with another legal challenge from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. He wants data on 15,000 local hosts, saying it’s necessary to determine unpaid hotel taxes and root out illegal hotel operators on the platform. The company is fighting the subpoena as, they say, too broad.
In the meantime, public policy head David Hantman convened a presser at General Assembly to tout how much the startup is contributing to the economy of New York City. Between the sternly upbeat tone and the stack of printed pamphlets, it felt like a visit from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Read More