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Mobile App Success Story: How Airbnb Did It


If your dream is to travel all over the world and to understand better the characteristics of your destinations then Airbnb is the solution for finding the best places for rent. In the same time, in case you have an extra space and you want to offer it for foreign tourists, Airbnb is also the answer for this scenario. It appears that Airbnb is the travel app that can solve the problems for hosts and guests offering high quality services for both categories. If you want to discover how is that possible then be prepared for our Monday adventure.

Brilliant Idea

As you probably imagine, the factor that determined the need for a service like the one provided by Airbnb was the issue encountered by some persons with entrepreneurial minds when they had to pay the rent for their apartment, ten years ago. We are talking about Brian Chesky and Joe Debbia who considered that allowing other persons to live in their loft on airbeds was the answer to their problem. After Nathan Blecharczyk joined the team they launched their startup named Airbed and Breakfast. In 2009 the company becomes Airbnb offering a platform where house owners were able to rent their homes to complete strangers. In 2010 their business started to be successful and after just one year their site counts 1 million nights booked by users. In 2012 the Airbnb app is launched for Android devices. For further discussions we will focus our attention on the mobile sector of Airbnb.

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How Airbnb Did It

Almost for every mobile marketing technique presented in our previous articles, Airbnb seemed to be a great example. This is why we gathered here the most impressive strategies for building a global community around the app.



If you enter Airbnb site from your mobile device, you will be recommended to download the app according to your smartphone’s operating system. Every interaction with this brand is the proof of efficiency generated by modern technology. It is very hard to find the right balance between multiple needs expressed by different types of customers and so many languages and styles, but with the app created by Airbnb all users have the feeling that the service was created for them. People always remember their journeys and it is very important to provide the best experience according to their preferences. If your app helps users to save time and money in a simple and intuitive manner then it will become without doubt their favorite tool for their next traveling occasion. Not to mention that word of mouth has a lot of power in this case.


Speaking about spreading the word about an app, do you know which method offers long – term results for a great number of potential users? Yes, you guessed that right, influencers. With the help of social media networks millions of people from all over the world will adopt your brand if somebody famous already did. First the travel company convinces popular people about the value of their services. The second step is to allow them to put their personal touch on a message sent to their followers about the great moments spent in a location found on Airbnb. In this case we can also mention Aston Kutcher which is one of the (very important) persons who invested their money in the company.

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Design Principles

A great experience comes from a well-designed app; knowing this fact, Airbnb’s owners took time and created an amazing user interface respecting Google Guidelines for the process. That is the reason why the app received a Material Design Award in 2016. If you want to know the details for this decision you can read the article written by Google experts. Certain typographic styles, the bottom navigation bar for both Android and iOS versions and descriptive images are just a few elements that contributed to the final result. You can discover all the techniques used for obtaining these effects on the official blog of Airbnb’s designers.

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Content Marketing

For Airbnb, content is really the engine that makes things move. Describing every place or event like a real celebration creates a sense of belonging for its customers. People like the feeling that they can be part of the adventure and observing this fact is a real opportunity to increase the number of users. The effects of storytelling are visible every time users press the button to reserve the perfect accommodation for their following destination. User generated content and Guerilla Marketing are part of this huge plan to connect with users and to entertain them in engaging and innovative ways. If you would like to put a floating house on the Thames in London, you have to think about something else because Airbnb already did that.

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Deep Linking

It is a real challenge to guide people to the wanted content across multiple devices and platforms. Therefore, Airbnb’s owners didn’t want to lose their customers between thousands of locations and they knew that a smart linking strategy is a must for the success of their business. If you want to see the results of this technique, you should analyze the case study published by Branch. The document shows the marketing channels used by the team from Airbnb for increasing conversions, like paid ads, in-app sharing or email marketing. But creating a straightforward path from the web to the app is the secret of growth for Airbnb.

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Bonus Tip: If your app is good then make it better.

There is always room for improvement. Although the app was appreciated by users, the team behind Airbnb noticed all their requirements and invested a lot of effort in enhancing the app with useful features for making sure that their customers are entirely happy with their product. In a blog post published last year the new version of the app was explained in the simplest terms. Every element added is the result of users’ feedbacks and it reveals the purpose of transforming the app in an efficient tool for its customers.

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So, what are you waiting for? Grab your backpack and start your journey or make some photos and rent your studio for showing others the amazing events from your city. It is hard to find a common solution for both types of users, but Airbnb managed to please them by focusing on creating an amazing communication channel.


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