Your profile acts as your face to the Couchsurfing community. It’s how Hosts decide whether they’d like to host you, who they’ll expect to see at the Event you’ve joined, etc. We want Couchsurfing profiles to be vibrant, complete, and be the core way you’re able to tell members you haven’t met yet who you are and what you’re about. The “Profile Completeness” scoring system was created as a way to ensure that every member on Couchsurfing fills out their profile before using Couchsurfing to look for hosts, guests, or events to attend. For every action new members take to improve their profile, they receive a higher score, allowing them greater access to the entire Couchsurfing website.
In order to improve the quality of profiles across the site, we’ve update the scoring for “completeness” of your Couchsurfing profile, and you may have seen your Profile Completeness score change.
If your percentage has dropped, you should see a list of the steps you can take to make your profile fully complete. For example, you can add your interests to your profile, or ask a friend in the Couchsurfing community to leave you a Personal reference.
Why do I need to complete my profile to send Couch Requests, and take other actions around the site?
It’s important for your future hosts and guests to know who they will be inviting into their home, or who they will be staying with. As such, you must have a minimum of 50% profile completeness to take most actions on the site. Some, such as creating Groups or Events, require an even more complete profile.
What has changed?
We’ve analyzed data and listened to feedback from our dedicated Ambassadors about what most influences a host’s choice to accept a particular guest. These are some of the key changes:
- Adding a profile photo is now required
- The score for your first reference increased from 10% to 15%; scoring for one additional reference increased from 5% to 15%
- The score for connecting your Facebook decreased from 35% to 5%
- The score for describing yourself in the “About Me” section increased from 5% to 15%
- New additions to the scoring calculator include adding interests, adding a friend, and adding a phone number
- Other areas were brought slightly up or down to support these goals
But how do new members get references?
One of the most important things a host looks from in a guest is a positive reference from someone within the community. You earn references from prior guests (as a host) and prior hosts (as a guest).
If you’re new to the community, you can ask people in your network that are already on Couchsurfing to leave you a Personal reference. If you don’t know anyone on Couchsurfing, you can attend local events to get to know the community and build up your Couchsurfing reputation.
While this change may be an adjustment, we hope that this will decrease the number of requests our hosts receive from incomplete profiles. In the coming months, we’ll be exploring more ways we can make the Couchsurfing website easier to use for both hosts and surfers. If you have any feedback about the Profile Completeness scoring system or other areas of the Couchsurfing website, please feel free to share your feedback here.