Airbnb for Work now accounts for 15 percent of bookings

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 9.17.26 AM.pngBusiness travelers have become an increasingly important part of the Airbnb business, according to a new blog post. The company says that Airbnb for Work, which launched in 2014, has seen bookings triple from 2015 to 2016, and triple again from 2016 to 2017. In fact, Airbnb  says that almost 700,000 companies have signed up for and booked with Airbnb for Work.

Interestingly, the breakdown of companies working with Airbnb for traveler lodging are pretty diverse — employees from large enterprise companies (5,000+ employees) and employees from startups and SMBs (one to 250 employees) take a 40-40 split, with the final 20 percent of Airbnb for Work bookings going to mid-sized companies.

In July of 2017, Airbnb started making its listings available via SAP Concur, a tool used by a large number of business travelers. Airbnb says that this integration has been a huge help to growing Airbnb for Work, with Concur seeing a 42 percent increase in employees expensing Airbnb stays from 2016 to 2017. Moreover, 63 percent of Concur’s Fortune 500 clients have booked a business trip on Airbnb.

One interesting trend that Airbnb has noticed is that nearly 60 percent of Airbnb for Work trips had more than one guest.

“We can offer big open areas for collaborations, while still giving employees their own private space,” said David Holyoke, global head of business travel at Airbnb. “We think this offers a more meaningful business trip and it saves the company a lot of money.”

Given the tremendous growth of the business segment, as well as the opportunity it represents, Airbnb is working on new features for business travelers. In fact, in the next week, Airbnb will be launching a new feature that lets employees search for Airbnb listings on a company-specific landing page.

So, for example, a Google employee might search for their lodging on Google.Airbnb.com, and the site would be refined to cater to Google’s preferences, including locations close to the office, budget, and other factors.

While the growth has picked up, Holyoke still sees Airbnb for Work as an opportunity to grow. He said that Airbnb for Work listings only represent 15 percent of all Airbnb trips.

But, the introduction of boutique hotels and other amenity-driven listings such as those on Airbnb Plus are paving the way for business travelers to lean toward Airbnb instead of a business hotel.

Plus, as mobility and relocation become even more important to how a business operates, Airbnb believes it can be a useful tool to help employees get started in a new town before they purchase a home.

FACEBOOK PROMISES TO START TELLING YOU WHEN YOU’RE FACEBOOKING TOO MUCH

Facebook on an iPhone.

Facebook, during all its years of expansion, has been focused on one thing above all else: getting people to spend more time on its social network.

Now, as tech giants face increasing criticism over the addictive nature of their products, the company is releasing features that do the opposite. Facebook and Instagram, its photo-sharing app, will add controls to help people measure how much time they’re spending on the sites, so they can dial it back if they want to. Users can also mute notifications on the apps for a certain period of time, or sign up to get an alert when they’ve been scrolling for too long.

“It’s not just about the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram but how they spend that time,” Facebook said in a blog post Wednesday. “It’s our responsibility to talk openly about how time online impacts people—and we take that responsibility seriously.”

Most companies haven’t focused on that issue until recently, following concerns from mental-health experts and industry critics about internet and device addiction, and the way technology is designed to keep users coming back for more. In June, for example, Apple introduced “Screen Time,” an activity report that will show how much time users are spending on individual apps and how often they pick up their iPhones. Google announced similar controls in May.

Facebook has been working on improving the way people feel about its website, which has been a destination for political bickering, misinformation, clickbait and viral videos. The social network earlier this year pledged to change the mix of its news feed to emphasize conversations that are meaningful between friends and family, as opposed to content designed specifically to go viral. The changes have affected how much time people spend on the site, which could in turn affect Facebook’s ad revenues. The company has said that it expects sales growth to slow in the coming years—and revenue fell short of estimates in the second quarter, sending Facebook stock down 19 percent in a day last week.

“We want the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram to be intentional, positive and inspiring,” the company said.

As part of this push, Facebook said it convened a summit with online safety experts, researchers and teens in March to talk about technology and how it’s influencing well-being. It plans to tweak its products to further address concerns like a lack of kindness online.

Meanwhile, the company is grappling with its impact on society in other ways. It disclosed on Tuesday that it identified an ongoing effort to use its platforms to influence the U.S. midterm election, via a network of false-identity accounts and pages. The company says it doesn’t yet know who is behind the coordinated campaign, which follows a similar effort, linked to Russia, ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

Why Diesel Opened a Deceptive NYC Pop-Up Store Selling Knockoffs of Its Own Clothes

deisel-popup-PAGE-2018.jpgLast week, something that by all appearances was a small knockoff store popped up out of nowhere on Canal Street in New York. It looked pretty much like any other knockoff store—plastic hangers; neon “sale” and “buy 2, get 1 free” signs in slightly messy handwriting; and boxes upon boxes of sweaters, shirts and other items piled in the middle of the small store. It definitely wasn’t a place a fashion brand that wants to be taken seriously during New York Fashion Week would dare be found.

But Diesel saw it differently–read full article here. 

NBC Will Show Winter Olympics Content on 4,000 Outdoor Displays in 3 U.S. Cities

A mock-up of a LinkNYC kiosk that will display Winter Olympics content. They will begin showing content on Thursday.

Olympics fans in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia will soon have a way to catch up with the 2018 Winter Olympics without looking down at their phones during their commute.

Later this week, NBC Olympics will begin showcasing content from Pyeongchang, South Korea—videos and visuals such as highlights, summaries, previews, medal counts and athlete bios—on digital displays on streets and in mass transit systems in those three cities. Through a partnership with Intersection, a New York-based startup, NBC hopes to broaden its Olympics footprint while reminding people to watch the games on TV or on NBC’s mobile app.

According to NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel, the goal is to reach viewers beyond their usual consumption habits. Since there is a 14-hour time difference between the East Coast and South Korea, Zenkel said he hopes it will also provide ongoing content even though the games are half a world away. That means having highlights from the night before during the morning commute in the U.S. to show people what happened while they were still sleeping.

“There’s a real-time presence of Olympic content that’s accompanying people who are either heading to work or doing what they do as they maneuver the streets of New York, Philly and Chicago,” he told Adweek during an interview from South Korea.

Starting Thursday, around 4,000 digital displays will begin showing Olympics content for about three to six minutes every hour. The monoliths stand 9.5 feet tall, and have 55-inch display screens. Zenkel said the goal is to increase the “appetite” for Olympics content.

The idea came about a couple of months ago after Zenkel noticed the LinkNYC stands around New York. Soon after that, Zenkel ran into Intersection chief revenue officer Marta Martinez and decided to contact her later to learn more about the displays.

“I saw these kiosks popping up on what felt like at least every city block and in some cases corners and was intrigued,” Zenkel said.

This is the first major content play for Intersection, which has digital display partnerships with a number of major cities in the U.S. Screens can show all kinds of content, including ads like Apple’s Shark Tank-style show, “Planet of the Apps,” as well as offer free Wi-Fi. Other Intersection markets include Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis and most recently Los Angeles.

The Olympics content will be displayed across the 1,500 LinkNYC kiosks in New York; on digital panels and displays in the Chicago Transit Authority system; and on bus shelters, urban panels and other displays in Philadelphia’s mass transit system and streets.

“It ties back to our core mission, which is to improve [the] daily life of cities through technology,” said Intersection CEO Ari Buchalter. “I think a big part of that is around delivering unique and powerful content experiences in the public space, in particular those that are sort of human-scale, look-up experiences as opposed to the content that people often consume on their mobile phones.”

The initial plan late last year was to find advertisers among NBC’s existing content sponsors. However, Zenkel said the plan came together just before the games were set to begin, and the two companies decided not to exchange any money—unless they’re able to find an advertiser at the last minute.

“The Olympics is a uniquely massive event,” Zenkel said. “I don’t think anyone who walks down the street seeing some great Olympic content is going to say, ‘Hmm, how did this end up here?’”

Buchalter said Intersection is also in talks to bring other types of content to public spaces. That might include news, social media, local info or cultural content. Buchalter said revenue agreements depend on each contract. However, the share with LinkNYC, a joint partnership with New York City, is split in half.

“If you only see an ad, then you eventually become blind to that space,” he said.

These Digital Billboards From McDonald’s Change Depending on How Bad the Traffic Is

traffic-jam-mcdonalds-PAGE-2017.jpgGetting stuck in traffic at the end of the day sucks, which is why McDonald’s hopes some new creative ad targeting will get you to pull over at a nearby restaurant and pick up a hamburger on your way home.

The fast-food chain and Leo Burnett are running an intriguing out-of-home campaign in the U.K. that targets drivers on busy highways at peak times of the day. Digital billboards placed alongside the road feature a Big Mac when traffic is light, but once it starts to build, the creative switches to McDonald’s familiar golden arches with copy that reads, “Stuck in a jam? There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”

“Simple, tantalizing, recognizable product shots stimulate the appetite during fast-flowing traffic, while longer contextual copy lines run during heavy, slow-moving traffic, acknowledging the delays to deliver a relevant and powerful call to action,” said Dan Dawson, chief technology officer at Grand Visual, an out-of-home company that helped produce the campaign along with OpenLoop, which monitored real-time stats from Google Traffic API to determine which creative would be served to which billboard.

Google BikeAround: Street View For Alzheimers

Meet Anne-Christine Hertz, a Swedish inventor who works at Health Technology Centre of Halland. Today, she shares a story of how the Centre used Google Street View to invent a device that helps the elderly with Alzheimer’s.

Every three seconds someone develops dementia, a condition that creates disability and dependency among many elderly people around the world, robbing the memory and judgment of some 40 million people. It’s not only overwhelming and stressful for those suffering, but also their loved ones trying to take care of them.

BikeAround is a new way to actively assist people with dementia, and pairs a stationary bike with Google Street View, that is then projected on a big screen to take patients on a virtual ride down memory lane, letting them pedal around a place they have visited in the past. Find out more here.