Hosted Walks, a mobile site from Airbnb, connected tourists to locally-based Airbnb hosts and their vast library of local insights – guiding tourists on host-led tours that point out all the local gems around them.
Airbnb has a powerful brand connecting travelers all over the globe. Central to what makes Airbnb different is its mobile app, connecting people on the go with hosts who offer pleasant places to stay. The app delivers on this promise by being relevant and insightful at the moment of a consumer’s intent.
To extend its brand, Airbnb conceived of Hosted Walks, powered by Google. Hosted Walks would launch by featuring Manhattan. Famous for its diversity and history, it is less renowned for providing last minute visitors much in the way of guidance.
Airbnb Hosted Walks provided visitors with step-by-step directions to interesting places—each within walking distance of their host’s home. As they tour, pop-ups would offer recordings. Hosts would point out hotspots and hideaways, sharing personal highlights or history.
Ultimately, Hosted Walks would connect guests and hosts on a new level. But could Hosted Walks turn a place like Manhattan—teeming with sights and sounds—into a neighborhood you can comfortably explore on your phone?
Airbnb partnered with Google for Hosted Walks. The goal was to launch the app at Adweek, an event akin to the Oscars in the world of advertising. Approaching Mayven with the project, there was one hitch.
Adweek was three weeks away.
Mayven dove into architecting the mobile-responsive web application, preparing to handle hits from all of New York City. Slow load times would not be an option during AdWeek.
Three weeks later, Adweek swarmed with 90,000 attendees. Airbnb, Google, and Mayven were ready. The Airbnb Hosted Walks app had been architected, tested, and passed Google’s testing rigors on time.
In three weeks, the concept of Hosted Walks was a reality and a highlight of Adweek. Coverage included Adweek Magazine and The Associated Press. Adding to the excitement, actress Sarah Jessica Parker made a cameo on Hosted Walks.
What favorite places did the star of “Sex & The City” share on her tour?
Shoe shopping, of course.
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