2017 is quickly approaching, and here at Couchsurfing HQ, we find ourselves reflecting on everything that has happened over the past year. From Couchsurfing Hangouts to improved tools for our Trust and Safety team, it’s been a really exciting year!

What made us proud to be on the Couchsurfing Team this year:

“Hearing Lieke’s story was so inspiring to me. Four kids and they’ve hosted over 1,000 surfers! When I have kids, I will make it a priority to host Couchsurfers so that my children have the same exposure to different cultures, languages, and food that the Goossens did. I also loved the ProjectOneLife video about his first experience Couchsurfing. I probably watched it 50 times.”   

— Zareen, Community

 

Hangouts has been such a success – every day, as many people use Hangouts as attend Couchsurfing events! We are bringing more locals and travelers together than ever before, which feels great.”

— Mitch, Product Manager

 

“The highlight of my year has been building relationships with members around the world, learning about their unique Couchsurfing experiences, and listening to their feedback about how we might be able to improve the site and community in the future. There’s really no community like this one, and I love that a core part of my job involves being a part of it.”

— Alli, Marketing

 

“Creating the Host Calendar, building Hangouts, and improving the Couch Request system was a lot of work, but totally worth it. It was so rewarding to release these changes and watch the reviews in the iOS App Store get close to a 5-star rating. It means we’re making our members happy!”

— Aryan, iOS Engineer

 

“This year my job was fueled by so much inspiration from our community. My favorite was an amazing picture of 4 girls who together speak 21 languages! The introduction of hangouts has made making these impromptu connections while traveling easier than ever. Not only are surfers able to explore a country through the eyes of a local host but also through the perspective & culture of other travelers. It’s photos like these that remind me of how many incredible connections and lasting friendships Couchsurfing creates every year! “

— Amanda, Trust and Safety

 

“We improved detection mechanisms that help our team prevent bad experiences before they happen, and the Reference updates we released at the end of 2015 allow us to follow up on negative experiences faster than ever. During a company-wide Trust and Safety hackathon, the team even created a brand-new warning system. We want to make Couchsurfing a safer, more trusted place, and this year, we made big steps in that direction!”

— Don, Trust and Safety

After the Hackathon, we celebrated by going hiking and kayaking.

I had my first Couchsurfing experience this year! My stay in Sydney with Helen and Chris was unforgettable. They inspire me to make our platform the best it can be for everyone that loves Couchsurfing like they do!”

— Iryna, Engineering

 

“Being a Couchsurfer for a couple years, I naturally gravitated towards community events when I moved to San Francisco. I decided to attend several San Francisco Couch Crash events to explore the city and meet locals and travelers. Little did I know that I would also meet the down-to-earth staff members (both the human and canine variety) and learn that they were hiring for the exact role I’d been searching for!”

— Shridhar, Engineer

Iryna and Blanche work together to test some bug fixes.

“I was pretty proud when the Couchsurfing Android Application was awarded the “Top Developer” badge! We saw a huge increase in the number of Android devices that have the Couchsurfing app installed. This year, we really focused on listening to feedback and reviews from the community, and that definitely paid off!”

— Nico, Android Engineer

 

“2016 marked my 8th year of helping hosts and surfers with support and safety related questions. I can honestly say that this has been the most impressive year in so many ways: New features for our members, better tools for Support and Safety, increased community interaction, reviving the Ambassador program, and improved internal policies and procedures. These improvements made 2016 very special for me and I couldn’t be more excited for 2017 because I know we can be even better!”

— Florian, Trust and Safety

What made you proud to be a member of Couchsurfing this year? Let us know by tagging #couchsurfing2016 on Instagram and Twitter.

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