On Tuesday, Airbnb played host to its hosts. The company that's helped define the sharing economy invited its most prolific hosts to its new headquarters in San Francisco, introducing them to a bevy of new products, including a revamped iOS 7 app, the creation of Airbnb Stories, and the relaunch of its SuperHost program.
New iOS 7 and Android apps: The new iOS 7 mobile app is designed to feel completely native on Apple's new mobile operating system with parallax, artful transparency, and full-bleed photography. Take a tour here.
Airbnb Stories: A new content marketing platform for the company, Airbnb Stories is a collection of photo-rich profiles of hosts and guests. There are a few parallels to Facebook's content platform, Facebook Stories. In addition to the similar names, Airbnb is asking members of the community to submit their own stories.
SuperHost Alliance: Airbnb said it will relaunch its SuperHost program in 2014. The company describes the SuperHost Alliance as "a league of extraordinary Airbnb hosts" whose listings reflect their special status with a badge.
Host rewards: Also beginning in 2014, Airbnb will run a rewards program for hosts, giving them "travel credits, perks, and other privileges," said cofounder and CEO Brian Chesky.
Host Groups: Debuting in beta in June and formally launching Tuesday, Host Groups now have more than 10,000 participants in more than 300 groups.
Hospitality Lab: Founder of the Joie de Vivre boutique hospitality chain, Chip Conley, was brought on Airbnb's head of global hospitality in September. He gave a peek at the inner workings of Airbnb's Hospitality Lab in Dublin, outlining standards hosts should follow in booking (to build trust), preparation (to make a good first impression), and arrival (interactions with guests).
[Image: Alice Truong]