The Gist: The percent of people booking Airbnbs over the past sixth months has remained stagnant.  

Back in November, a report by Morgan Stanley suggested Airbnb’s growth might be slowing down. Airbnb is on it’s way to a verb a la “Uber-ing” or “Googling,” name recognition. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean brand adoption.

CivicScience has been tracking Airbnb (and private home apartment rental) use since 2017.

“Slow down” is putting it kindly. Since early 2017, the growth of home renters through Airbnb has remained nearly flat. This halt is only an indicator of US usage of Airbnb but, it begs the question, has the service has reached market saturation, at least in America? Or, can this be attributed to the stay at home phenomena? Is the sharing economy over?

We took a look at people who engage in other segments of the sharing economy and found something interesting.

Only 19% of people who use rideshare apps also use Airbnb (at least in the last six months.) The term Airbnb-ing might be ubiquitous, but even their target audience, people already engaging with the sharing economy, are not actually Airbnb-ing.

Of course, it’s a significant leap of faith to go from spending a ride in someone’s car to sharing a home with them. However, it’s surprising there’s not more adoption from this group.

The only thing clear here is Airbnb booking has plateaued. There’s no guarantee that the sharing economy is going to save it. Given the tightening-jurisdictions  around hosting an Airbnb and the recent safety concerns of booking one, it looks like the company has some thinking to do.

In the meantime, we’ll keep an eye on these numbers.