Peer-to-peer housing startup Airbnb has spent the last several years mostly as a platform for listing and booking short-term accommodations through a web browser. But users are getting increasingly comfortable with the idea of booking and even listing spaces through their mobile phones. The company has tried to reach that demand through on mobile devices with frequently updated iOS and Android apps. Today, the Android app gets an update aimed at making the experience for hosts better than ever.
Airbnb has seen a lot more of its traffic coming from mobile users, and a lot more of its bookings happening on mobile phones as well. As of last September, about a quarter of all traffic came from mobile users, and you can bet that’s increased over the last six months.
With its iOS app, Airbnb has seen users are more responsive than on the Airbnb website. They answer emails more quickly, which leads to more bookings; and are generally more engaged than Web-only users. That said, the number of hosts who use its Android apps to manage their properties hasn’t grown in proportion with overall mobile increases. Only 5 percent of active hosts use the Android app.
As a result, Airbnb is updating its Android app to provide a better experience for hosts on that platform and to make managing their properties even easier. The two areas where it’s looking to improve are in providing pre-approval options for hosts, and better calendar management for its properties.
The first of the two new features will allow hosts to pre-approve, deny, or request more information from guest inquiries within the app. That’ll increase the speed with which bookings can happen. The second new feature will improve the ability to update calendar listings, without having to jump on the web to do so. That’ll ensure that the most current inventory is able to be seen by users.
The Android update comes not long after Airbnb updated its iOS app in December, adding new languages and features to that platform. For Airbnb, it’s all about increasing the usability of its platform on all the different devices that users wish to reach them. Doing so means more bookings, and that means happier hosts and guests and ultimately more money.