Airbnb: Utilizing our Social Networks for Travel

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I’ll be heading to San Francisco in August for the Outside Lands Festival. My means of lodging is through a website called Airbnb, offering a diversity of accommodations – from private homes to private islands in over 8,000 cities in 166 countries.

The site is incredibly easy to navigate. After searching a few places in close proximity to the festival I found a host renting a room just two blocks from the ocean and two blocks to Golden Gate park. Three nights in San Francisco and the total fee is $175. It’s a great deal for convenience and for getting to know a city from a locals point of view.

But, what is really cool about Airbnb is their new “social connections” tool that can scan my facebook page and identify friends and friends-of-friends opening their homes through the Airbnb network. With a click of a button I’m instantly connected to destinations for rent in Brooklyn, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta and Tel Aviv. How quickly travel seems attainable.

Release The Hounds had the chance to meet one of the founders of Airbnb at the PSFK CONFERENCE in New York. Here’s a copy of the presentation that does a great job chronicling the somewhat unexpected success of this young company.

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