AirBNB’s Product Shortcomings: No Fridge, Technology, or Service Widgets

AirBNB is not an engaging host or guest platform. There is hardly anyway to customize a listing, except through static photos. The offer to improve a listing through ‘professional photography’, for instance, feels more like desperation than a real attempt at engagement. These shortcomings, however, are hardly worth mentioning. AirBNB’s problem is not so much with its lack of customization within its listings than with its product offerings. Throughout the company’s history there has not been a single advance in any of its product offerings or any new ways of offering their sole product, spaces.

AirBNB is not an ideal platform for spaces. Where is the host engagement? The dashboard, for instance, does not allow a host to increase his or her engagement in hospitality at all. Of course, you can chit-chat all you want. There is no end to endless chatter but there are no options, for instance, to cater to guests; there is no fridge widget; there is no technology widget; there is no services widget.

Fridge Widget

Technology Widget

Different sized TVs snap into place on the same mount

You could offer a 32" TV, a 50" TV or a 60" TV in a house with three rooms, alternating the equipment as desired by guests. You could offer differ types of media such as a Hulu, AppleTV, Chromecast, or YouTube; you could offer different types of controllers or video game consoles as part of these technological upgrades. You could even offer different types of devices. Imagine being able to offer a slough of devices for children such as tablets or handheld gaming devices.

However, on the AirBNB dashboard there is no way to allow a guest to upgrade his or her technology. There is no way to allow a guest to select from a list of hosted options, which technological upgrades a guest may or may not want. There are zero options on the AirBNB dashboard for offering any kind of technological upgrades whatsoever.

Services Widget


What is more problematic, however, is the fact that AirBNB’s failure to introduce new product offerings in the form of dashboard widgets, deprives the company of an opportunity to collect exceptional amounts of insightful user data. Imagine the untold insights into user upgrade selections that could open the door to marketing or sales opportunities. While initially the platform may have revolutionized spaces as a product offering, the platform is now static.

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