Latest news on profile photos.
"Today, we’re announcing some changes we will be making to the way we display guest profile photos.
Moving forward, rather than displaying a potential guest’s profile photo before the booking is accepted, hosts will receive a guest’s photo in the booking process only after they’ve accepted the booking request. Airbnb does not require all guests to provide a photo. Instead, we’ll be giving hosts the option to ask their guests to provide a profile photo, which will only be presented to hosts after they accept the booking"
Thank you for highlighting this issue @Susan.
After a number of high profile people of colour, particularly in the US, publicly stating that they don't use Airbnb because they've experienced discrimination, I can understand the reason for Airbnb trying to remove this stigma prior to booking. What is less understandable is that they do not require a photo at all. I imagine that the burden of verifying the photo with the Government ID outweighs the tagline about the community being based on trust.
I have to see ID as a requirement from the Municipality, so I always check the name matches that on the booking, which helps. Although only this morning I got told by on CS rep that they are not pushing the third party booking restrictions, and that such bookings are at hosts' discretion. Which maybe so, until such time as a claim against the Host guarantee is required. It seems in general , Airbnb is finding its own policies too irksome to implement.
Yet again, it seems the burden of checks and balances fall squarely on us hosts. I will personally have no qualms on letting guests know I require a photo, after the booking is confirmed. I hope other hosts insist on the same.
I personally have no qualms on letting guests know I require a photo BEFORE they get approved and therefore I'm declining every signle one until this idiotic policy hasnt been removed. And I'm letting them know I'm declining them because I don t feel comfortable with this Airbnb policy. Otherwise I can say goodbye to Airbnb "community" once and for all. They're not going to turn my apt into an hotel and I won't let them decide who comes and who comes not.
I'm a superhost here in NY and you can see I only have excellent reviews from people of every race, cultural background, country, and religion, but I'm not going to accept this babysitting rule that, by the way, doesn't respect hosts needs and requirements.
If such a thing was somehting we wanted we could've all activated the 'Instant Booking' feature on our profiles. Is that's not a popular option there must be a reason and what is Airbnb response to that, forcing to have a less transparent communication and having Airbnb decide for us who should or should not share our spaces?
Is not by removing people freedom and freedom of choice that you're going to have less discrimination and more tollerance.
I totally agree with you. I was unaware of this change until my last booking. Couldn't figure out why no picture then realized the change. It's BS. It's MY home, I live here, and I want the right to see who will be sharing my space.
I hope they change it.
This is my home. Appearances, as well as prebooking conversations via messages are important to me when allowing strangers to be hosted by
us . That should be easy to understand. I do not agree with the increase in anonymity of potential guests in our home! Goodness!
@Danny318 That is not always the case. It is a 50-minute drive from where we live to our Airbnb. Guests check themselves in via a lockbox, and we never meet or see our guests. I prefer to see photos to get a better sense of who will be in our home, and ethnicity is not an issue.
I 100% agree with this @Matteo340 & @Lynn And Jim. It is my home, my space. I don't think it's wrong to want to see who will be staying in your home, especially when a guest requests to book with zero reviews and only a personal email address. Yet I keep receiving Airbnb notifications to turn Instant Book on -no thank you. Not without seeing the person first, in my space.
Upon all of my previous bookings as a guest, I am happy hosts got to see who I am and what I am about. It's not discrimination, it gives you an idea of who the guest is as a person. Oftentimes I receive a bunch of random requests, to which I take the time to send a message with further questions to ensure I feel comfortable with having these guests stay in the spaces I own (and where I have spent a LOT of money on quality furnishings and design) -oftentimes I receive zero reply to my questions. A pic can give you an idea of the person. I don't want to get penalized for not accepting bookings when I simply do not feel comfortable without really knowing about someone (ie/ barebones profile, no photo, no "verification" other than a personal email address). And to not even see a photo of the person requesting the booking. No thank you!
Airbnb really needs to listen to the "community" and open this up again with photos when a request is received. It's all around assurance and comfort to hosts. I am 100% not a fan of this policy and am actually saddened to see it go in this direction. We are not hotels, we are hosts with homes and personal spaces; we do not have the multi-million dollar insurance policies that hotels do as assurance, as well as credit card details to chargeback for any damages caused/guests not being who they say they are/more than the allotted guests who have secured your space -ie/ a friend found out she had 7 guests in her space versus the "two" who were to be there and a bunch of things stolen from her own personal home. I really hope Airbnb listens. Is it so bad to want to see who will be renting your space?
Amen and agree totally. I will decline every booking as well unless I get a photo, and meaningful conversations from the potential guest to know what they are about. This is not discrimination, it is safety, and a feeling of community with those who share our personal space. We live in a quiet neighborhood with widows and retirees, we have grandchildren over frequently. This is sad and will ultimately lose my business. It is balderdash!
I'm very upset about this policy as well. You can learn more than just the color of someone's skin in a profile picture. I am a single female hosting multile guests in my home, often more than 10 strangers at a time I need to know as much about someone as possible before inviting them to stay with me in my home. I used to rely on the profile picture as part of my screening proccess. Of course, the color of person's skin was not a factor, but whether their photo was appropriate or not, was. If someone was making vulgar gestures or dressing and posing provocatively, then I would decline their request. Also, Airbnb used to include the person's last name in the booking request, but now they don't provide a last name even after booking is complete. I used to rely on this information also. If I was on the fence about accepting someone, I would do a little research online, checking social media, arrest records, etc...
It has made me very nervous, the new policy. It handicaps Hosts from seeing who wants to stay in their home. It’s a safety issue.
If someone was knocking on our door & asked to come in, we first & foremost would peek at who was at our home wanting to come in.
Agreed @Kelli65 . We had a super sketch booking very recently. It was someone from our city, which we never tend to take, as oftentimes it's the case they are just here to party. I read her reviews after her Instant Book (didn't realize I had it set on as it's a new listing for us). Her reviews were HORRIBLE. She disrespected house rules, threw a party (when no parties were allowed), had 10 or so people over and there was vomit all over the bed. Had I seen her picture I honestly would have said "no thank you". Airbnb should put this back on. I don't understand why they are not listening to their hosts who generate them so much revenue.
Thanks for highlighting this @Susan17. As a host who shares my home with guests this makes me very uncomfortable, however I understand the reasoning behind it.
I already require ID at check-in, but rarely enforce it as long as the profile picture matches the guest who shows up at my door. I guess I'll be more vigilant about this in the future.
@Mel101 and that's screwed up about the third party bookings. ABB just randomly chooses what policies to enforce but hosts MUST comply with whatever they say? Ugh.