Sharing economy apps, such as Airbnb and Uber, are stripping down the services they provide in order to appease to consumer’s growing demand for safety, according to the Economist. Airbnb is telling customers which hosts are spacing out bookings by 24 hours in order to allow for deeper cleans.
Additionally, Airbnb is looking to expand the number of hosts renting out their private homes instead of hosts who rent out rooms across multiple properties. Uber had planned on launching a credit card for its drivers, but instead is focusing on ensuring that its ride service is as socially distanced as possible.
The demand for more socially distanced travel is apparent in the use of other sharing economy services. For example, the length of trips on scooters owned by Bird have increased by 50% since the onset of the pandemic. The increased use of scooters is proving to be a viable alternative to traveling on public transportation. However, the question remains as to which sharing economy apps will be able to meet the increased demand for safety during the pandemic.