The Story

Airbnb has more than 1M accommodation listings in more than 190 countries, making it larger than any hotel chain. But some travellers continue to feel uncomfortable about staying in another person's home. To earn the trust of first-time users and demonstrate the popularity of staying in an Airbnb property, the company created a real-time data visualisation of its global activity for the Airbnb website. Users can explore the map and zoom in on interesting Airbnb stories through iconic landmarks and playful animations.

Airbnb created an interactive WebGL website to show how active the company is at any given moment. The site renders animations in real-time, including planes to represent trips, pulsing dots to show the scale and density of guest stays and animated characters to represent new Airbnb stays. The company also built a reactive sound engine so users can hear a variety of soundscapes as they zoom around the globe. To expand the reach of the campaign, it was translated from a browser experience to mobile as well.

The Results

Hosts, guests and even celebrities posted about the campaign on social media, and positive press coverage proved the PR value of a real-time data campaign. In the first month following launch, the site received: