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POLL: If Airbnb goes to a no photo system



Poll solicited by @K9KarmaCasa.

If Airbnb goes to a NO photo system (which I think they are going to do, hotel style) will you stop hosting?

  • Yes
  • Depends (-> Please explain below)
  • No

0 voters


Thanks Guthend for doing this.


I prefer to see a photo, for security reasons and because I feel more at ease when I know who will show up at my doorstep. But no photo would not deter me from hosting. Hotels also never know who will show up.

@K9KarmaCasa You’re welcome!


I’m an old school bed and breakfast landlady and in the ‘olden days’ all we had was a letter or phone call from the guest booking their accommodation. All we had was the name of the person booking - and nothing to say that that wasn’t fake. (In those days, it was de rigeur for unmarried couples to stay as Mrs & Mrs Smith :slight_smile: )

We didn’t have reviews from other hosts to check and we certainly didn’t have photographs of the imminent guests.

So I’ve had loads of guests with inaccurate or no photographs and so it makes no difference to me at all.

P.S. I know that there’s the argument that people want to know who is coming into their home but the bed and breakfast business was in my own home.


If I’m hosting out of my own home, I would require a photo. If I’m hosting remotely, I may be ok with not knowing who is coming. But maybe not. I get that hotels operate with anonymity, but I’m not a hotel. I’m a human opening my personal home and properties to strangers, and I want more protection than a hotel.


I totally understand why people want photos.

Like Jaquo, I have an “old school” experience that shaped me. I was a public school teacher for 28 years. When I started in 1988 I had my phone number and address in the phone book. (how many here don’t know what a phone book is?) Many teachers warned me against it but I ignored them, probably out of naivete. But in 28 years I never had a problem. So many of the modern day privacy concerns just don’t resonate with me.


Me too. The problem with photographs is that nine times out of ten, I’ve found that the photograph hasn’t been an accurate depiction of the guest. They are usually pretty small and it’s hard to be accurate.

I’ve had guests arrive who’ve had green hair and loads of tats yet their photograph has been a demure little respectable looking blonde. I had a guest who looked like some sort of Halloween monster in her photograph who was totally gorgeous and pretty in reality. I’ve had really smart looking business people - in their pics - who have been totally slobby, casual dressers.

Some guests do the ‘realtor thing’ and use a photograph of themselves twenty years ago.


I thought they had already done this, 40% of inquiry’s /bookings this year have no photo


There is a corollary here… if profiles don’t have pictures, hosts won’t have them either. Is that another poll?


Poll solicited by @smtucker.

If Airbnb goes to a NO photo system for hosts will you stop hosting?

  • Yes
  • Depends (Please specify below)
  • No

0 voters


The real poll would be for guests… if there is no photo of the host, will you feel comfortable renting a space on AirBNB? But this isn’t the right forum for that question.


Our photo does hint a tiny bit about us being gay, so it keeps away the homophobes. Without a photo it would be different. I also hate everything being depersonalized.

You are right. But I think there would also be disadvantages for the hosts.


If truth be told, I’ve never had a facial photo on my listing because I am an off-site host so it matters not to a guest. I’d have to take a plane to greet them or bid them farewell.

On the other hand, I am always interested in seeing what my guests look like. It’s the voyeur-gene in me. … :crazy_face:


Hotels take your ID and a credit card when you check in. Doesn’t the person that checks in have to match the name on the reservation? That’s what it’s about for me, I just want to know, if there’s a problem, that the person that checked in is really the person that booked and had his/her credit card on file with Airbnb.



I do not do it yet but taking ID on check in strikes me as being a very good idea.


I just started hosting, so it could be my “newbie anxiety” but I like to know who is coming in. I also am in the home with the guest, so that adds to my desire to know who is coming. Would airbnb replace the photo with a required govt ID verification, or something like that?


I’ve also thought about doing this, although self check-in makes that a bit difficult.


Many hosts don’t have them. A host photo is not one of my many requirements when choosing an Airbnb as a guest.

Unless you check their ID when they arrive you don’t know. There are some guests who look a lot like their photo but most do not. If you had asked me as a new host if I wanted a photo I would have said yes. Now after 100s of guests that have no photo or no clear match to the photo on their account I realize it doesn’t matter. I also have self check in and the idea of asking for ID after they have spent a night in the room doesn’t make sense.

Hosts like the illusion of control.


I would still host guests recommended by other hosts, but no-one else, as I don’t think it would be safe for someone like me. It’s an important extra safety measure to be able to recognize guests when they arrive.


You can already require guest to go through Airbnb’s government ID verification. I don’t see any reason for them to remove that option.

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