Airbnb today announced it has revamped its review system to promote more and more honest feedback. Given that the accommodation service is completely built on trust, this feature is arguably the most important to ensuring its continued use: both hosts and guests can make informed decisions before and during the stay.
The first change is that reviews will now be revealed to hosts and guests simultaneously: they will only be shown after both participants have completed their assessment of the experience. This is in response to both hosts and guests worrying that if they leave an honest review, they might receive an unfairly critical review in response.
Next, the review period is being shortened from 30 days to 14 days. Airbnb says 90 percent of hosts and guests who leave a review, do so within two weeks. The change is thus being made so that the feedback people provide is based on a more recent impression. If after the 14-day review period only the host or the guest has left a review from a completed trip, Airbnb will make that review public to both the recipient and the community.
If you prefer to leave private feedback for your host, that option has also been added (curiously, hosts can’t do the same for guests). Every guest will now be prompted to share one thing they loved about their stay and one thing they’d encourage the host to improve. This feedback won’t be public: the host will receive it alongside their public review.
Airbnb says these changes to its review system “are only the beginning.” The company wouldn’t share what’s coming next though, aside that it is “committed to finding new, personalized ways to help our community share honest feedback and trust.” As long as reviews remain optional and are strongly encouraged, the system should continue to work well.
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