posted on Dec. 31, 2015, at 11:53 a.m.
BuzzFeed News Reporter
2015 was a huge year for Airbnb. It earned a $25 billion valuation. It was used to book over 1 million stays per night. It launched its services in Cuba.
But 2015 was not a year without obstacles for the tech startup that, for many, has — until this year — represented the softer side of the so-called “sharing economy.” Facing regulatory pressure in big cities like New York, L.A., and San Francisco, Airbnb spent much of the year — and its marketing budget — trying to convince the world that the platform is good for cities, good for middle-class families, and good for people in general.
But it’s been hard — maybe harder than it should be — to prove that that’s true. And meanwhile, Airbnb’s opponents have argued that not only is the company not good for regular old middle-income city dwellers, but that its short-term rentals are actually causing a decline in affordable housing in certain cities and neighborhoods.