Weeks after Airbnb said it was temporarily banning parties, the vacation rental firm is rolling out ‘anti-party technology’ following the success of its pilot program in Australia that showed a 35 per cent drop in incidents of unauthorized parties.
Airbnb in a statement announced it will now deploy new anti-party tools in the US and Canada after the pilot program in the Australia proved to be effective.
“We’re announcing the introduction of new anti-party tools in the US and Canada to help identify potentially high-risk reservations and prevent those users from taking advantage of our platform,” the company said in the statement.
“We have seen a 35 percent drop in incidents of unauthorized parties in the areas of Australia where this pilot has been in effect. We are now ending the pilot phase in Australia and codifying this product nationwide. We are hoping for similar success as we begin testing this in the US and Canada.”
In August 2020, the short-term rental service put a temporary ban on parties and set an occupancy limit to 16 after parties at Airbnb listings gained popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic due to restrictions at pubs, clubs and restaurants.
In June, Airbnb made the party ban permanent, following feedback from the Airbnb host community. It did however lift the 16-person occupancy limit.
How ‘anti-party technology’ works
Airbnb says it is introducing the anti-party tools “to help identify potentially high-risk reservations and prevent those users from taking advantage of our platform,” adding that the system will look at factors such as history of positive reviews – or lack thereof, length of time the guest has been on the platform, length of the trip, distance to the listings, and weekends vs. weekdays, among others.
“The primary objective is attempting to reduce the ability of bad actors to throw unauthorized parties which negatively impact our Hosts, neighbours, and the communities we serve,” Airbnb said.
“This anti-party technology is designed to prevent a reservation attempt from going through. Guests who are unable to make entire home bookings due to this system will still be able to book a private room (where the Host is more likely to be physically on-site) or a hotel room through Airbnb.”
Better than the ‘under-25 system’
Airbnb added that the system is a more robust and sophisticated version of the “under-25” system that has been in effect in North America since 2020, which primarily focuses on guests under the age of 25 without positive reviews who are booked locally.
“We anticipate that this new system will help prevent more bad actors on our platform while having less of a blunt impact on guests who are not trying to throw a party. While we are consistently willing to make trade-offs in the interests of building trust, our goal is to make these systems as precise and fair as possible to support our Hosts and guests,” Airbnb explained.
Airbnb however clarified that while they are optimistic that the technology would have a positive impact, “no system is perfect”.
“We work hard to deter bad actors from using our platform, but ultimately Airbnb is an online platform that facilitates real world connections. That’s why we continually seek to partner with experts and communities to complement their safety efforts, and we continue to invest in our Neighborhood Support Line to facilitate direct communication with neighbors regarding potential parties in progress or concerns with any nearby listings,” they added.