Social Media was abuzz last week when Airbnb, the company that allows people to rent out their apartments to tourists, revealed its new logo and its new marketing campaign. The new logo, called a Bélo and described by Airbnb as “a symbol of belonging,” has been the subject of a great deal of ridicule on the internet. Twitter users and bloggers have likened the logo to everything from cartoon characters and animal faces, to male and female genitals. The tumblr blog Airbnb Logos features pages of logo redesigns, of both the family-friendly and adult-oriented varieties.
Others have praised Airbnb’s rebranding, tweeting their appreciation of the message of belonging and unity represented by the new Bélo logo. Others have praised the Airbnb mobile app’s new sleek, easy to use interface.
Founded in 2007 as just a two-person operation, Airbnb has grown immensely in the past seven years into the $10 billion company that it is today. However, this rebranding comes after Airbnb encountered some legal troubles and controversy. A New Yorker who rented his apartment out via Airbnb last year arrived home to the aftermath of a wild party that had been thrown by the man who had stayed there. Also, in October 2013 New York state’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, requested that the company provide information about its 15,000 New York-area members to help the state determine whether or not Airbnb is in violation of the law governing the operation of illegal hotels. It still remains to be seen whether or not the company’s new image will make people forget about its flaws, but the new logo has certainly provided a brief distraction.