man greenscreen TikTok over image of Airbnb collapse tweet with caption 'Why Airbnb hosts are freaking out' (l) hand holding phone with Airbnb on screen in front of chart background (c) man greenscreen TikTok over article 'Airbnb Revenue Collapse Sparks Housing Market Crash Fears' with caption 'and there's fear of a housing market crash' (r)

rafapress/Shutterstock @jeremywerden/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘Why the hell y’all got me doing chores when I’m on vacation’: People are celebrating the potential collapse of Airbnb, calling out unnecessary fees and unsafe rentals

A lot of people hate Airbnb—but is the company actually in trouble?

 

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Tech

A few short years ago, Airbnb was a beloved brand, praised for making travel more affordable. But after a flood of scandals involving scams, dangerous or erratic hosts and hidden cameras spying on guests—not to mention Airbnb’s catastrophic impact on the rental market—the company now has far more detractors.

So when reports began to spread about an apparent Airbnb collapse, many saw this as good news.

People have been warning for a while about the possibility of the Airbnb bubble bursting, much like how other startups like Netflix and Uber “disrupted” their target industries but are now beginning to flounder.

In Airbnb’s case, the brand is wrestling with bad PR compared to traditional hotels, as customers complain about rising fees and unreasonable demands from Airbnb hosts. When real estate vlogger Nick Gerli tweeted a list of cities where Airbnb revenue is supposedly tanking (sourced from the rental analytics company All The Rooms), Twitter users responded with gleeful schadenfreude.

This tweet spread to Airbnb TikTok, with one Airbnb influencer arguing that the figures are unreliable and the bubble isn’t bursting, and a real estate TikToker offering tips on how to navigate a potential Airbnb collapse.

Interestingly though, a lot of the replies to these TikToks (and reactions from non-Airbnb-related TikTokers) seem to share the same sentiment we see on Twitter, where the vibes are distinctly anti-Airbnb. There are a ton of complaints about exorbitant fees and cleaning duties, and recommendations to use old-fashioned hotels.

Right now some Airbnb hosts are worried about the collapse forecasted in this tweet, while Airbnb haters are clearly excited to see the company fail—not least because this might have a positive impact on rental prices. However, the reports of a potential collapse are not entirely reliable.

Wired magazine speculated about a Covid-era collapse back in 2020, and the past few months have seen various scare stories about an “Airbnbust,” with Airbnb hosts reporting a decline in customers. Some local governments are also cracking down on short-term rentals.

That being said, the current controversy all stems from a single viral tweet, screencapping some contested stats. Airbnb announced increased revenue in its last quarterly report, signaling that while some hosts may have empty properties and a lot of disgruntled customers now hate the brand, the company itself is still making money.

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