Different colors for pins on the map according to host status

I guess it would make it a lot easier to find a host if there are different colors for people who are open to host. Right now they are all greyed out and you have to click several times because you find people who Don’t host or are just “maybe” hosting.

An additional feature would be a filter to toggle some options for pin colors if you just want to filter people who are open for meet-ups or by gender (not for dating, obviously, but especially for women who prefer to stay with other women).


Different coloured pins is a great idea. I wondered if it would become over busy, but actually, because there’s typically significant space between people, I don’t think that’d be a problem. Another option is a different kind of icon depending on hosting status - eg, a house for those open to host, a cup of coffee for those who just want to meet up etc.

Granularity would be a welcome improvement over other platforms. Being able to toggle whether or not you see more complex map pins would put more control into the hands of users. This would be amazing given that other platforms introduce this kind of thing as a paid premium feature.


I just checked: Trust Roots has different pins for hosting status (like my idea). But I also like your idea of differend shaped icons. What do you guys think of a visual indicator of values like reply rate and last login? The less they have the less colorful the icon would be?
As Couchers try to fight hosting fatigue the value of amount of references or something regarding to quantity should not be visually reflected.


I really like the idea of pins slowly losing colour / shape depending on profile completeness, last login, reply rate. Alternatively, how about increasing colour the more that users engage? In this way, all pins start off grey, but as more users meet people, connect, do the thing it’s meant for, their pins come alive, start taking on shape and colour. Could be beautiful and a baked in way of visually representing an emergent community.


Oh and I think that if you have a map centered selection method of finding your hosts you definitely need the option sooner or later to remove inactive profile from map and search completely. I don’t know what the right duration of inactivity should be (I feel something between 6 and 18 months would feel right), but if we had a map of the big cities plastered with all the inactive (but still searchable profiles found in CS searches) profiles, that would be a bit overwhelming. :smiley:

Keep it simple - 1 year, after which your pin doesn’t appear on the map any more. Sign in again to reinstate it. Dead profiles are a major issue in CS I think. Dealing with them artfully will bring more quality interactions.


FindACrew has 45 days and to me that works quite well. If you haven’t signed in for that many days, you get unlisted in search.

You also receive an email communicating the change and pointing out that you’ll be listed again as soon as you log in to your profile.

We could combine such an approach with a checkbox option to show all members, regardless of last activity.

@nolo what about people who don’t travel very often?

I guess 45 days would be a bit too short for my own preference but it would cleap the maps nice and “clean”. Maybe we should ask the users by a public poll once the user base hit a certain threshold?

@gjw: if people like to travel again they should just sign in et voilà they are back in the system.

I guess the only reason Couch Surfing does not do this is to invoce the ilusion of having thousand and thousands of “active” users in each big city, which is not the case anymore.

And in one case one of my hosts already died, his profile is still there and you can send him requests.


Yes, Couchsurfing actually also shows all the users’ profiles that they locked out for not paying… with their last active hosting status :lying_face:

I think personally I’d just prefer a “last seen”-slider to customize which profiles are shown on the map. This could have some time steps (like 14 days / 1 month / 6 months / anytime) and be set to default to a month or so.

I would add 3 months and 12 months intervals and it sounds like a splendid idea! :smiley:


I love this ideas :purple_heart:

I only disagree with the short period to take someone out of the map… If it only keeps people that has been active in the last 2 months it will create superhost effect: people that log in because they have a surfer coming show on tge map and recive more requests, and it creates a snowball effect.

Same with people that used it while traveling: getting a request now and them would encourage them to log in and use it, but if you disappear after 45 days noone will request your couch and you may not have any reason to log in till you have to travel yourself again.

A think a year is reasonable, you still give people chance to be found even if they had a busy season.


I think you raise a good point about the snowball effect - people not receiving requests > have no reason to log in > don’t log in and stop showing up on map > worsen chances of receiving request, etc - and it makes me wonder if, rather than just having a fixed timespan of inactivity remove you from the map, it would be better to include requests received and not responded to as part of the calculation (if that is possible).

In this case, if you receive a hosting request and a certain amount of time passes (let’s say a full week) without you logging in or checking the request, the time period until deactivation will be shortened. With each request you receive, the time period will be further shortened until you hit a max number (let’s say 10) after which you will be deactivated so that other surfers are not sending you requests.

For example: let’s say 1 year is the time span needed of inactivity to normally be deactivated. It’s been a month since your last login, so you have 11 months left. Someone sends you a couch request, but a full week passes and you did not log in still. Your amount of time until deactivation then gets reduced by a month, so you now only have ten months (minus a week) to log in or you will be deactivated.

Then let’s say there are a lot of travelers coming through and you are receiving a lot of requests. It’s now been 3 months since you last logged in and you receive your tenth coucher request of that time period. A full week (or whatever amount of time is determined best) passes without you logging in, so your account is immediately deactivated until you log in again so that so many travelers will stop messaging your inactive account.

The actual factors, like amount of time needing to pass after a request before any effect takes place, how many requests you can receive before immediate deactivation (if at all), and how much your time before deactivation gets shortened after each request, would be, of course, all up for debate.


i guess only way to curb a snowball effect would be to send out automatic emails to inactive members telling them they are about to be listed as inactive and whether they’d like to log on, could also have in this email events curtailed to them to get them interested in being active


I really like this idea. the only downside I see is that the system has to be transparent how it works and not seem to be arbitrary, but I take that.

About not listing not to clobber the map: set it to 3 months.
Anyone that has logged in the last 3 months would appear in the listing, the others only if there are less than 30 people in the list, unless the one launching the search select a different time limit. So perople in areas where there are not meny hosts would remain even if not regularly hosting, people in busy areas would not appear in basic searches.

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I like this!
And I also like the idea of different colours for pins based on hosting and meeting up status (won’t support it for gender though). Fading the colour based on user’s activity sounds really beautiful too, but I guess that would be hard to implement?

Don’t forget that there are town with lets say about 10k inhabitants where 30 profiles would be a lot. Considering the life span of Couch Surfing that has been over 15 years I don’t think it is of any advantage to find still 30 hosts if only 2 or 3 of them have signed in the last 3 years, just for the sake of having the illusion of being a social network of a big number of users. I prefer every option that shows fewer but very active users in any case. I don’t have any stats, but I guess the chance of being hosted by somebody who hasn’t signed in for years might be mathematically possible, but very very unlikely.

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I’d advocate for showing not-very-active users if no really active are there. At least there’s still a chance they will see an email notification and respond. Maybe they don’t log in exactly because their town is 10k people and they don’t have many travellers, but would be happy to host you.
Also, I understand there still will be filters “last active in…” that you can apply if you want.
The number could be not 30, maybe 20 or even 10, but I think it’s a good idea to have that threshold.