What do Airbnb users want in 2017? Airbnbs on Mars

Headed to Mars? You may be able to book an Airbnb there someday soon.

Lodging on Mars was just one of the suggestions that came pouring in this week when Airbnb Co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky took to Twitter to ask users: “If Airbnb could launch anything in 2017, what would it be?”

In a later tweet, Chesky said he was expecting to get 10 ideas (c’mon, really?) and instead he received 2,000 — many of which he responded to personally. He listed some of the most popular suggestions in a tweet storm Friday afternoon.

As for the “Airbnbs on Mars” suggestion, Chesky appeared to take it seriously, replying “working on that…no joke.”

“Let’s start on the moon,” someone else tweeted, to which Chesky responded, “It’s closer, but there are cons to this.”

One user praised Chesky for being so open-minded about the discussion. And indeed, it seemed nothing as out of bounds.

Self-driving cars was another suggestion, though it was unclear how the user expected that to fit into Airbnb’s business model. “We are actually working on self driving homes,” Chesky responded (no word on whether he was joking).

Other, perhaps more practical ideas: notifications sent to guests on the day of their trip with information such as how to get to the house or where to find the key, the option to order trial-sized toiletries for guests, partnerships with local restaurants, and a tool to let travelers know if a listing has a private bathroom.

Several users wanted the ability to pay for their Airbnb stays with bitcoin. One suggested an environmental focus — funding solar power in Airbnb homes and giving hosts the option to tout their green homes as a selling point for guests. Others wanted a way to donate their Airbnb earnings to charity.

Of course, many users wanted Airbnb to do more to fight discrimination on the platform, after an outpouring of complaints this year from guests who say they were denied a place to stay because of their race.

There also was excitement about the new activity booking tool Airbnb launched last month, and about the company’s promise to get into flight booking. Chesky also promised “big step changes” coming to home rentals in 2017.

Chesky’s initial tweet started something of a trend this week. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was among those to follow suit, asking users what changes they wanted to see from Twitter in the new year. Dorsey, who also is CEO of Square, showed no favoritism — he made sure to pose the question to Square users too. Brian Armstrong, Co-founder and CEO of San Francisco-based bitcoin exchange Coinbase also asked the question.

Photo: Airbnb founders Joe Gebbia, Nathan Blecharczyk and Brian Chesky post for a photo. (Courtesy of Airbnb)

 

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