Airbnb Introduces Verified IDs

Airbnb is a marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world.  In the summer of 2011, Airbnb was hit with many high-profile complaints, one complaint where a user said meth pipes were left all over his home and another user complained about their home getting trashed.  Ever since these incidents were reported, Airbnb took user validity very seriously.  Now the company has added identity verification so that users will feel more confident about hosting.  The Verified ID service will use offline and online services to verify identities.

The offline portion will require users to upload a photo of their driver’s license or passport.  The online portion will require users to login through Facebook and LinkedIn.  Airbnb will analyze the profiles to make sure that they are real people by checking details like how long their profiles have existed.

“I think this is how the world will interact in the future,” stated Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. “There’s no reason to have an anonymous experience. Once people have their identity attached online, then they build a reputation. Suddenly you live in a world without strangers.”

Around 25% of Airbnb users will be randomly selected to provide a Verified ID.  Users that verify their ID will get a badge on their profile.  If users are not randomly selected, they can opt in to verify their identities.  Airbnb recently added a $1 million guarantee for hosts, a secure payment service, and 24/7 customer service to increase the quality of their services.

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