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App Development
6 minutes read

Airbnb API: All You Need to Know in 2021

By Jose Gomez
By Jose Gomez
App Development
6 minutes read

Airbnb is a highly successful vacation rental platform, and as a result, many developers are clamoring for access to the Airbnb API. APIs play a vital role in modern app development. In fact, many of the features users love in mobile and web apps are made possible through the power of APIs. 

API connection is a big part of app innovation. Instead of spending precious time writing code for existing features and services, developers can use their time to combine services and features in unique ways to create new apps and services that best serve modern users. Therefore, it is no surprise that the Airbnb API is in high demand.

External developers are eager to access Airbnb’s large user base and platform to create better digital products and experiences. Let’s take a closer look at the history of Airbnb’s API, explain how you can gain access to the API, and explore a few practical ways Airbnb API integration can be put to good use in your mobile app. 

The History of the Airbnb API

Airbnb started back in 2008 as a platform that allowed people to rent out their extra rooms or homes to travelers. The company quickly became one of the most popular rental apps and websites in the world. Today, you can find Airbnb listings for just about anywhere you want to travel. 

Airbnb’s popularity made it possible for people to start their own real-estate businesses by simply uploading their properties to the platform. The popularity of the Airbnb platform also opened other possibilities for local businesses and tech companies that wanted to operate within the Airbnb ecosystem. However, Airbnb would not publicly release its API to external developers. 

At the time, motivated developers who wanted access to the Airbnb platform would have to seek alternative methods of integrating with Airbnb without an official API. Some developers would use proxies or scraping methods to get the integrations they needed, while other less scrupulous developers would turn to black-hat programming methods. 

Finally, Airbnb released its official API in 2017. The Airbnb API integration tools give web developers in-depth access to Airbnb data and listings. Official Airbnb API integration now gives developers the ability to design better mobile and web applications. Furthermore, innovative startups and companies can also use the official Airbnb API to create new services that delight travelers and property owners alike. 

How to Acquire the Airbnb API

External developers around the world were excited when Airbnb announced its API back in 2017. After reading briefly about the power of APIs and the size of the Airbnb ecosystem, you are likely ready to learn more about how you can acquire the Airbnb API. 

Unfortunately, your business likely won’t be able to use the Airbnb API. Even after finally releasing an API back in 2017, to this day, Airbnb is very selective about the companies that it gives access to the API. Officially, Airbnb only gives API access to companies that are guaranteed to substantiate the end-user, Airbnb ecosystem. After all, renters and hosts alike are the most valuable assets the company has, and they have decided they will not turn over access to these users to just any company or startup idea. 

To gain access to the Airbnb API, you must first become an Airbnb partner. Again, external developers are at a disadvantage because Airbnb does not officially accept requests for new partnerships or access to the API. Rather, Airbnb reaches out to prospective partners and invites them to join.  

Airbnb evaluates three key points when determining if they will grant a business access to their API documentation, including:

  • The profitability of the business, or potential for profitability in an idea, proposal, etc.
  • The technical strength of the business 
  • The businesses ability to support a shared customer user base 

Airbnb gives startups and app developers very little opportunity to access their API. If you don’t want to wait around and see if Airbnb will invite you to be a partner, you could try reaching out to their global support team. However, you shouldn’t get your hopes up because this will likely not result in your business gaining access to the Airbnb API either, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. 

Integrating the Airbnb API into Your Business 

If your business is lucky enough to gain access to the Airbnb API, the company will provide an integration consultant to help you through the integration process. However, for seamless Airbnb API integration, you will need to have a development team. This team will need to have working knowledge of the programming language C#, the development framework .NET, and the core web technologies HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

Your development team will also need to be well-versed in mobile app development languages if you plan on using the official API in your mobile app. Successful Airbnb API integration can help expose your properties to millions of new users and lead to more reservations than ever before. However, without the proper development support, integration can act as a roadblock that prevents your business from achieving its goals. 

Use Cases for the Airbnb API

The clearest value the Airbnb API provides businesses is more convenient property management. Developers can use the Airbnb API to create apps and software tools that allow users to manage multiple Airbnb listings in one place. For example, if you have multiple properties that have the same information, like a house with multiple rooms you are renting, updating each individual listing can be time-consuming. However, thanks to tools using the Airbnb API, users can now update listing info, price, etc., for multiple listings at one time. 

The API is also great for businesses that are managing multiple reservations, scheduling maintenance and cleaning services around guests, and everything else that comes with property management. 

Additional use cases for the Airbnb API include sharing the user ratings of your listings and their availability on your website or other digital assets. This gives your users a chance to see what properties you have available and what other visitors think about them without having to browse through listings on Airbnb. 

Final Thoughts 

The Airbnb API offers exciting capabilities to the companies that are able to gain access to it. If you’ve recently gained access to the API, reach out to a skilled app development partner to help your business efficiently integrate it into your processes. Count on the technical expertise and the industry experience of a skilled development partner to help your business get the most out of the Airbnb API.

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