Social interactions or business transactions? What customer reviews disclose about Airbnb marketplace

Quattrone, Giovanni ORCID logoORCID:, Nocera, Antonino, Capra, Licia and Quercia, Daniele (2020) Social interactions or business transactions? What customer reviews disclose about Airbnb marketplace. Huang, Yennun, King, Irwin, Liu, Tie-Yan and van Steen, Maarten, eds. Proceedings of The Web Conference 2020. In: WWW'20, 20-24 Apr 2020, Taipei, Taiwan. ISBN 9781450370233. [Conference or Workshop Item] (doi:10.1145/3366423.3380225)

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Airbnb is one of the most successful examples of sharing economy marketplaces. With rapid and global market penetration, understanding its attractiveness and evolving growth opportunities is key to plan business decision making. There is an ongoing debate, for example, about whether Airbnb is a hospitality service that fosters social exchanges between hosts and guests, as the sharing economy manifesto originally stated, or whether it is (or is evolving into being) a purely business transaction platform, the way hotels have traditionally operated. To answer these questions, we propose a novel market analysis approach that exploits customers’ reviews. Key to the approach is a method that combines thematic analysis and machine learning to inductively develop a custom dictionary for guests’ reviews. Based on this dictionary, we then use quantitative linguistic analysis on a corpus of 3.2 million reviews collected in 6 different cities, and illustrate how to answer a variety of market research questions, at fine levels of temporal, thematic, user and spatial granularity, such as (i) how the business vs social dichotomy is evolving over the years, (ii) what exact words within such top-level categories are evolving, (iii) whether such trends vary across different user segments and (iv) in different neighbourhoods.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Computer Science
Item ID: 29150
Notes on copyright: Published in WWW2020 Proceedings © 2020 International World Wide Web Conference Committee, published under Creative Commons CC By 4.0 License
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Depositing User: Giovanni Quattrone
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2021 09:19
Last Modified: 27 May 2021 15:07

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