Airbnb’s new party-pooping technology

Airbnb is introducing a new weapon in its war against fun by rolling out “anti-party technology” across Canada and the US. 

Catch-up: In June, Airbnb permanently banned unauthorized parties on its properties, following a temporary (and well-received) ban adopted at the outset of the pandemic.

While the phrase anti-party technology brings to mind a house robot that scolds you or a speaker that only plays elevator music, it’s really an algorithm that blocks bookings deemed most likely to host a thrown-down at someone else’s beachfront property. 

  • It considers factors including the guest’s review history, the length of stay, how close they live to the listing, and whether they’re booking for a weekday or weekend.

If a booking raises flags, Airbnb will block it and offer an alternative listing less conducive to partying—like a single room where the host lives onsite or a hotel with a security patrol. 

Why it matters: In Australia, Airbnb found the algorithm reduced unauthorized parties at its properties by 35%, but this type of technology is also often prone to certain biases. Users might not like a system that wrongly accuses them of being irresponsible partiers. 

Bottom line: Factor in rising Airbnb prices and hotels are starting to look like an even more attractive option.