Airbnb Launches Instagram-Like ‘Stories’ Feature

Home-sharing company Airbnb has quietly launched ‘Travel Stories’ on its site and app—which look a hell of a lot like Instagram Stories—for travelers to share their photos and videos from their trip directly.

Like Instagram, you’re able to geo-tag where you were in each photo, from restaurants to beaches, to specific Airbnbs. All of the locations come together at the bottom of the Travel Story, so you have a detailed, photo-based itinerary to share with your friends. Unlike Snapchat or Instagram Stories, the montage is permanent. See a super photogenic home or apartment in someone else’s post? You can book it right then and there.

The company has sent out invitations for a beta of the service to a pool of users (pictured below, sent to us by reader Matteo Gamba, who runs an Airbnb blog).

You can then look at the Stories either directly on Airbnb’s site, or through the Travel Stories tab in the app. In both cases, these are similar to extended travelog slideshows, and they appear to automatically link up to places featured in the Stories, along with related accommodations.

A FAQ page about the new format says that for now Story making is only available on the latest version of its iPhone app, under the Travel Stories tab of your profile. Video clips are limited to 10 seconds each and are taken from your camera roll and can be edited in the Airbnb app.

The company is expected also to launch in the coming weeks and months a loyalty program, also for the same end. There haven’t been many details released about how it will work, but one potential route it could take is to create a platform where you can make leisure activity and travel purchases through the Airbnb platform to accrue points for discounts on future Airbnb purchases, much like current air miles/points programs.

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