Product Update: Enhancements to the Reference System

Each month, hundreds of thousands of Couchsurfers have real-world experiences with one another. References are a powerful snapshot of these experiences, and our community writes more than 1 million references each year. People write references to express gratitude or provide helpful feedback, and they read references to learn more about people they haven’t met yet. Because we believe references should be as timely, honest, and relevant as possible, we’re happy to announce that we’re rolling out some enhancements to the way references work on Couchsurfing.

1. If you use Couchsurfing to host someone or find a host, we’ll now ask you directly to submit feedback about your experience, rather than hoping you’ll remember! You’ll only see these prompts and be able to leave a “Host” or “Guest” reference if you’ve planned and communicated via Couchrequest or Public Trip.

“Host” and “Guest” references should accurately reflect real-world experiences. We can’t prompt you to write a reference if we don’t know that you planned your stay on Couchsurfing. When you’re planning to meet someone, use Couchrequests to discuss and finalize your dates.

If you don’t plan your stay via Couchrequest, you’ll be unable to leave references as a Host or Guest. You’ll still be able to leave a Personal reference.

2. You have 14 days to write a Host/Guest reference. References are published when a host and guest have both written a reference, or after 14 days have passed.

References should be honest and timely, so we want to allow you to write your own reference about your experience, without influence from what your Host or Guest has to say. We also don’t want to let too much time pass so you can write your reference while your stay is still fresh in your mind!

3. You’ll no longer be able to edit or delete a reference.

All references, including Personal references, should be a snapshot of a past experience, rather than a continually evolving post with updates. We want to eliminate the back and forth nature of references so other Couchsurfers can trust that what they see more accurately reflects how each of you felt about your stay.

If someone stays with you or you stay with someone more than once, you can now write them more than one Host/Guest reference. You can still only leave one Personal reference. 

4. You can now leave private feedback.

There are some situations where you may want to provide additional feedback about your stay for our team to review. This confidential feedback option allows you to tell our team anything about your stay that you may prefer not to post publicly.

We’re excited about improving the accuracy and timeliness of references.  We look forward to your feedback.

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