Friday, October 7

Airbnb launches algorithm to detect revelers and prevent them from booking

Airbnb definitively prohibited in June the organization of parties in the accommodations booked through its platform, without exceptions. To reinforce this policy, the US company has now announced a new algorithm to detect which users intend to bypass this veto and prevent them from carrying out the reservation before they do so.

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After a pilot test in Australia, Airbnb has extended it to its main markets, the US and Canada, although it has not yet confirmed when it will arrive in Spain. In the oceanic country, it has been operating “since October 2021, where it has been very effective. We have seen a 35% decrease in incidents of unauthorized parties in areas of Australia where this pilot has been in force,” the company said in a statement.

The algorithm analyzes the user profile of the person trying to book, as well as the chosen accommodation. “It takes into account factors such as the history of positive reviews (or lack of them), the time the guest has been on Airbnb, the length of the trip, the distance to the advertised accommodation, if the reservation is the weekend or a business day, among many others”, explains Airbnb.

If the system detects that the user is a potential reveler, it will prevent them from making the accommodation reservation. However, the platform will allow you to book a single room, if possible (“the host is more likely to be physically in the place”, justifies Airbnb).

Although its first steps were taken before the arrival of the coronavirus, the ban on Airbnb parties became widespread as a result of the pandemic. In the early stages of deconfinement, clandestine parties that did not respect social distancing measures and curfews became a notorious problem in some big cities. The platform then vetoed allocating accommodation for this purpose, a temporary decision that last June became permanent policy.

Guests who break the ban on organizing parties face “serious consequences”, such as expulsion from the platform and legal measures based on the damage that may have been caused to the accommodation, warns Airbnb. “In 2021, more than 6,600 guests were suspended from Airbnb for attempting to violate our party ban. In these cases, we also work to support our hosts with property damage protection,” he adds.

Airbnb is valued at about 75,000 million euros, after starring in one of the largest IPOs of 2020 on Wall Street. However, since May its shares have fallen about 30%, dragged down by the depreciation that affects the entire technology sector and the global stock market.