Curiosity or certainty? A qualitative, comparative analysis of Couchsurfing and Airbnb user behaviors

Jiwon Jung, Kun Pyo Lee

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This study compares user behaviors of non-monetary and monetary sharing economy services, respectively represented by Couchsurfing and Airbnb. Semistructured interviews from six Couchsurfing and six Airbnb host users are comparatively analyzed via inductive content analyses and bottom-up affinity diagramming. This paper studies the early stages of both Couchsurfing and Airbnb users' service use: 1) writing a profile and room description, 2) receiving messages from a guest, and 3) verifying a guest user's identity. Couchsurfing hosts use these stages as a supportive friendship-forming tool to satisfy their curiosity regarding their guests, while Airbnb hosts use them for certainty and risk aversion. This study may help to generate design implications for non-monetary platforms, such as providing continuous communication tools for host users' process to verify guests' identities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2017 Extended Abstracts - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationExplore, Innovate, Inspire
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781450346566
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2017 - Denver, United States
Duration: 6 May 201711 May 2017

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings
VolumePart F127655


Conference2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Airbnb
  • Couchsurfing
  • Monetary
  • Non-monetary
  • Peer-to-peer exchange
  • Sharing economy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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