This study aims to investigate the influence of a male and female sellers ́ profile image and its expressions on the choices made by the peer user within the context of peer-to-peer accommodation rental. We arranged a scenario in which participants evaluated their likelihood to rent an apartment on Airbnb. Results of the conjoint study (r = 0.967, p = 0.000) show that, relative to price and customer reviews, a seller ́s profile image and its facial expression has a strong impact on the likelihood to rent the apartment on Airbnb. Second, the male seller profile image and its facial expression had the strongest impact in both positive and negative directions. Finally, the absence of a seller’s profile image (head silhouette) had a relatively strong negative impact on the likelihood to rent. Sellers looking to sublet property on Airbnb should be aware that their profile image could potentially influence prospective tenants. Managers in the sharing economy sector should, therefore, keep in mind that profile images and their facial expressions should be prominent in the design of peer-to-peer websites. In light of these results, we present practical implications, as well as directions for future research.

Fagerstrøm, A., Pawar, S., Arar, M., & Sigurðsson, V. (2018). On the relative impact of male and female sellers’ profile image and its facial expressions upon peer users’ behavior on AirbnbTM. Procedia computer science, 138, 454-461.