Airbnb rolled out a new review system over the weekend that hides feedback from hosts and guests until both parties have individually submitted reviews.
The change came about thanks to a widespread fear of retaliation on both parts, according to Airbnb: “Both hosts and guests may worry that if they leave an honest review that includes praise and criticism, they might receive an unfairly critical review in response,” the company wrote on its blog.
In our experience, that fear is real: It can result in unnaturally positive reviews or no reviews at all. In both cases, neither help a community supposedly built on trust.
Going forward, guests and hosts will have 14 days to submit a review and will only see each other’s reviews after both are submitted — or once the two-week deadline passes. Afterwards, the mutual reviews will show up in each user’s dashboard and will look something like this:
The update follows Airbnb’s brand and product relaunch last month and the official close of the startup’s $475 million megaround on Aug. 1.