Airbnb is getting hyper-local and hyper-personal.
The San Francisco-based startup launched an updated version of its app on Tuesday designed to better match customers with accommodation that meets their travel needs and preferences.
As well as bespoke accommodation matching, the service will also help customers identify neighborhoods in cities that will best suit them It will also give them access to digital guidebooks packed with recommendations crowdsourced from hosts.
Airbnb lists accommodation options in 34,000 cities in 191 countries and has become a catchword for an alternative to hotel stay. Its major selling point is that it provides a different travel experience to mass tourism by allowing people to stay in the homes of local hosts. This latest update reflects what it sees as its customer's desires to break free of cookie-cutter travel.
"The number one reason people chose to travel on Airbnb is they want to live like a local," said Airbnb Co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky in a statement. "Our hosts offer more than just generic hospitality - they welcome travellers from around the world into their communities."
When searching for properties, users will be prompted into "a conversation" with the app, which will encourage them to use specific filters. Airbnb is hoping that its app will gradually learn more about its customers as they use it so it can personalise suggestions according to accommodation type, price range and facilities.
The update should make it easier for customers to search through Airbnb's vast portfolio of properties. The same is true of discovering an appropriate neighborhood, which can otherwise be confusing for first timers visiting large metropolitan areas like Tokyo or London.
The app update will start to become available Tuesday across iOS and Android.