Profile Photo New Changes

Just been notified that Airbnb no longer require a profile photo but that potential guests may provide one if they so choose but it will not be available to hosts until AFTER they have accepted the booking. We like to see who is coming and also their purpose of visit, in other words we try to ensure “a good” fit which will result in happy guests along with their hosts.

Are Airbnb deliberately trying to kill their golden goose?


Why do you need to see a photo before they book? How can you tell anything, other than race and sex by a photo? Air does not want racists being racist on the platform.


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Not racist. We have hosted people of different color from even different countries. Why must you bring up the “race” card? We want to be able to choose who we have in our home and that is for everyone’s benefit. If we don’t think their purpose would work for our location and facility we will tell them. We can get a gut feeling from reading their purpose and looking at their photo and, no we are not psychic. Are we reluctant to accept certain types of guests? Yes, we try and avoid single people teens and 20’s, regardless of what color they may be. That is because we have had bad experiences with these groups. We put out our profile picture and a brief bio and expect others to do the same. It’s a two way street here!


Well race is exactly the reason this change was made. Too many racist being uncomfortable and declining. I have instant book and take everyone as long as no more than the allowable number of guests and no animals. I live a block away and have outside security cameras and I am willing to kick anyone out who breaks the rules. I was not calling you a racist btw, just pointing out why the policy is in effect.



My best answer is this…if you are in the U.S…… read:

This explains exactly what you can and not do within the Airbnb platform.

and this…

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We discussed this very issue extensively a couple of days ago.

As I mentioned in that thread Airbnb first notified hosts about this change back in October through their host newsletter (if you read the article issued in the host newsletter today, they reprint the article they published about this back in October).

However, they have made one key change (probably because so many hosts complained).

They have said you can go into your listing and check the box to say you only accepted guests with profile photo. (I had already made this one of my conditions for IB)

Then a guest will need to upload a photo, before they can book with you. If once the booking is confirmed you are not happy with the photo say because it is of a car, flower or child, you can work with Airbnb to either get the guest to upload a proper photo or cancel the booking without penalty.

This being the case I can’t see why it will be a problem for hosts. You can still ask for a profile and reasons for their stay as part of your house rules to ensure there is a good fit. If you tick the option requiring a photo and use IB you will see their photo straight away. If there is a request you will see it once you have accepted.

So you will have all the information you had before to help you decide whether you want to host a guest. What you can’t do is discriminate on the basis of age.

I have to say about 70% of my guests are young and are some of my best guests.


Just checked our listing the new Photo requirement is not yet showing…


Same here, I cannot “check the box” requiring a profile photo. I don’t care too much about seeing it before booking, but I want to know who is coming.

When I checked two days ago pursuant to the previous discussion as referenced by Helsi I didn’t have the option either. It doesn’t affect me as I have instant book and don’t care about photos anyway but I do like to keep up with what is going on.

Airbnb doesn’t think that hosts who require photos are their golden goose. They think guests are their golden goose. And I can’t find any evidence that they are wrong.


We are merely the nest :slight_smile: …quite literally.


@KenH I found mine, and clicked to the right of it (it didn’t have a check-box until I clicked; then it appeared!)

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Are you using Instant Book? Because I am not, and have no wish to start at this time.

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Yes, I do use IB. Not sure if that’s why it appears for me and not others…

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I have IB and still don’t have that option. I got my first booking in a long time with no picture tonight.


I get half my reservations from VRBO where there is no photo whatsoever. I have noticed no difference in quality of guests.

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This is an old poll on the subject.


I can’t understand the inconsistency… like others, it’s not an option for me either online or in the app.

You will need to have the most current version/update in order to see the profile pic option. I couldn’t see it either then realized I had my automatic updates turned off. Downloaded the newest version and the option was there.

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We do not instant book and when I tried to make sure we ask for a photo when a booking is confirmed, the three settings all have
“Only for instant booking”
So is this right or maybe I haven’t got my update box ticked. I don’t know how to get to that part of the platform, so any help would be appreciated.

My two penny worth re “seeing before meeting” is, yes it comforting to see who’s coming, but you get a much better idea of the person if you encourage them to tell you about their trip, who’s coming, what will they be using the accom for etc. So I’m happy with the rule, although I’d still like to see a picture after they’ve booked.


Even if you don’t check the box to require a profile picture, you can still get a picture by asking your guests to message you a picture so you will know that the person who made the reservation is the person who knocks on your door. I’ve had more than one guest who declined to have a profile picture but were willing to send me one through the messaging system (or one by direct email to avoid letting AirBnB have it in their possession).