Airbnb Is Building a New Mobile Travel Inspiration Engine

Apr 25, 2014 11:30 am

Skift Take

Inspiration has long been a part of Airbnb’s brand, so putting it in the palm of your hand seems like the next best step.

— Jason Clampet

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The Discover feature on Airbnb's mobile app. Skift

With $500 million in new funding, Airbnb is on the hook for bringing in more revenue. Now it’s got one more way to do so.

The home-rental company has begun making recommendations for nearby places to stay on its mobile app, not just spots similar to what Airbnb-ers have previously shown interest in.

The feature is “in experiment mode,” an Airbnb spokeswoman wrote in an email to VentureBeat.

It wasn’t live for me this morning, but the Wall Street Journal reported today that the new recommendations have started to roll out in San Francisco this week. An Airbnb engineer talked about the feature at a conference at its headquarters yesterday.

Lots of people make reservations on Airbnb. The company claims to have places to stay in more than 34,000 cities in 192 countries. Companies like HomeAway, 9flats, and Housetrip could represent competition.

But Airbnb has big plans. It wants to play in more parts of the hospitality business, and it’s been introducing products so it can head in that direction. A new recommendation system could end up driving more bookings on Airbnb and turn it into a bigger hospitality hub.

The new system could also circumvent issues arising from regulatory scrutiny and evictions of hosts in certain cities.

This article originally appeared on VentureBeat

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