Fresh off the press and onto the coffee tables of its 500,000 hosts, AirBNB brings out a travel magazine. Pineapple aims to bring a new generation of travel reportage to the users of AirBNB UK. But is a glossy magazine right for the digital holiday makers?
Pineapple, coming to an AirBNB near you
When AirBNB launched in 2008 it was a game changer. Connecting backpackers to boutique hostels around the world, the web application revolutionised city breaks worldwide. It is part of the growing culture of apps like UBER, determined to subvert the consumer model for the mobile age. But bringing out a glossy travel magazine seems almost like a step backwards? Pineapple is a 128 pages of travel writing from freelancers around the world. The flagship issue contains an inside look at London, a culinary tour of Seoul’s haute cuisine and a trip round San Francisco’s Bay, cycling from air-bed and breakfast to air bed and breakfast. It’s nothing ground breaking in itself but this is a magazine for a new generation of travellers.
San Fran is, of course, where it all started six years ago. Two RSID graduates looking to connect students on the move with affordable accommodation. The business model proved to be far more wide-reaching than they had imagined as AirBNB went global. Amassing over $500 million in investments by 2014, the company had become big business. The magazine is part of a new-look that was unveiled by the company in July, this year. Along with a new logo redesign – a squiggle that has attracted mixed reviews and a whole sub genre of visual misappropriation – it came with a clear message that the company had a few more surprises for the digital BNB market yet. However, the magazine was a bit of a surprise.
In the tradition of travel journalism, it is an offering to tap into its burgeoning $10billion market. Although still catering to dishevelled backpackers, BNBing with little more than their mobile phones and the money in their back pocket, there is very definite shift in the market. Perhaps Pineapple is a sign that AirBNB is now part of the establishment. With prices ranging £20-£1000 per night, there is a new generation of tech-savvy traveller that has money to spend.