Popular vacation rental site Airbnb, which goes beyond renting rooms and allows people to rent out things like entire countries, has implemented a system called Social Connections that utilizes Facebook’s exhaustive social network in order to personalize a user’s rental search. By employing a filter, Airbnb users can find connections they may have in any area around the world — assuming said connections use Facebook — which would help travelers find a familiar face and a (hopefully) cheap room, lessening the chance for said travelers to stay in places that may be a tad less familiar.
The Social Connections filter does what the name implies, and retrieves results based on Facebook connections the traveler has with potential hosts, as well as allows Airbnb users to check out if other Facebook friends and Airbnb employees have reviewed potential hosts.
The addition of the Facebook social circle would, in theory, give travelers a bit of comfort when using what is essentially a service that (while it does offer legitimate places as well) provides users with unofficial (someone’s couch as opposed to a popular hotel) places to stay, in that they may actually know the host, or at the very least, know someone who does.
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