The signaling effect of group-type profile pictures on sharing economy platform



Sharing economy platforms, represented by Uber or Airbnb have recently grown rapidly. Unlike the traditional online p2p market, providers in sharing economy platform become part of the service and have a significant impact on the overall service experience. Consequently, consumers should explore not only the product but also providers’ information before making a purchase to reduce the uncertainty of the overall quality of service. Furthermore, frequent crimes in Airbnb and Uber are increasing the importance of knowing provider information. However, the information of providers exposed on most platforms is limited to self-introduction and profile pictures. Accordingly, users should rely on this limited information to reduce service uncertainty. In this paper, we found that having a group-type host profile picture has a positive effect on the reservation rate in Airbnb. In addition, the impact of profile pictures is stronger in the cities with the high crime rate. The findings demonstrate that hosts’ group-type profile picture could serve as a signal on safety in sharing economy platforms.


1. Introduction
1.1. Profile picture in sharing economy
1.2. Conceptual framework
2. Methods
2.1. Data collection
2.2. Face Recognition
2.3. Data description
3. Result
3.1 Face existence
3.2. Group-type profile picture
4. Discussion
4.1. Contribution
4.2. Limitation and future research
5. References


  • Donggyu Min KAIST
  • Chulho Lee KAIST


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