Airbnb introduces Verified IDs

airbnbappAirbnb announced Verified IDs this week, to increase both security and peace-of-mind for its many users.

Airbnb lets you find low-cost lodging in homes, apartments and spare rooms world wide. Users can either advertise their place or find a crash pad as needed. The listings are often less expensive than a hotel and offer a more accommodating, personal experience. Of course, security is a concern for both the renters and the travelers.

Airbnb’s Verified IDs allow participants to match their online profile with offline documentation, like a valid photo ID. Renters on the site can require prospective tenants to be verified and vice versa. For now, Airbnb will require a random 25% of users in the US to acquire verification. Eventually, the company said, it hopes to have all participants verified. You can opt to verify your ID now at airbnb.com/verify.

The free Airbnb iPhone app is stellar. I’ll be using it to find lodging in New York City this summer and I’ll let you know how that goes. Aaron Mahnke, my co-host on the Home Work podcast, used Airbnb to rent a home on Cape Cod, MA last summer and I was able to check it out. It was a really nice place.

Good luck to everyone at Airbnb. You’ve got a nice little service there.

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