Airbnb is betting big on a new platform that could radically alter the way people book properties in the United States.
The company’s CEO, Anthony Levandowski, unveiled the Airbnb app for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone at a press conference Monday, but he said it was the company’s “largest ever investment in a mobile platform.”
The app, which will be available in beta this fall, lets users rent out their homes from their smartphones.
Airbnb is planning to make the platform more widely available by the end of the year, Levandowski said.
“We are betting that mobile will be the platform of the future,” Levandowski told reporters.
“It will be everywhere.”
Airbnb is using the new platform to connect renters with hosts who will help them navigate the process of finding their next home, while letting users rent their homes and book rooms at a fraction of the cost.
“There’s no question that Airbnb has the most amazing, most diverse, and most exciting community in the world,” Levinsky said.
“But we’ve also got a huge opportunity to build the platform that makes the most sense for our users.”
Levandowski said that Airbnb was also developing a mobile app for other platforms, but didn’t offer any specific details.
“When you’re going to take on something like this, you don’t want to have a platform that’s really just one app for everyone,” he said.
In addition to Airbnb, the company is also launching a host-to-host marketplace that will let users rent rooms from other hosts and host-rent out their properties.
Airbnb also announced that it is working with local governments to build an app that will help cities manage their Airbnb hosts.
The app also lets users book rooms in multiple cities and lets them view and rate the reviews of other guests.
The platform, which was founded in 2008, has attracted attention from some in the tech industry because of its low startup costs and rapid growth.
The company has more than 4 million hosts, according to a recent survey.