Profiles for users

What kind of things should we include on users’ profiles?

Currently, we’re thinking display name, username, hometown, fluent languages, age, gender, occupation, references, ‘member since …’, friends, countries visited, countries lived in.

We’re thinking just one big section for each of the about me and about my place, where you can customize the questions (with some default ones).

For my place settings, we’re thinking of including maximum guests, last-minute requests ok?, multiple groups ok?, prefered gender, pets, kids, wheelchair accessible, smoking allowed?

What else is important to you when you look at profiles? Also, how should photos be arranged? Do we only need display and house photos or are albums useful too?

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I quite liked the ‘tags’ feature in profiles, but perhaps this isn’t really necessary if the general section is searchable.

I’m sure others disagree with me on this, but I don’t think albums are necessary outside of profile and couch.

I don’t think albums are necessary outside of profile and couch.

Actually, I agree with you Lucas. I think having a lot of pictures encourages misuse of the site. One picture of yourself and your home should be more than enough to do the job… but yeah, my two cents. Maybe members with higher community standing could get more pictures :slight_smile:


Pictures are also a bit of a pain to implement securely, so we’ve pushed them down a bit in the feature build order :stuck_out_tongue:

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I agree not having too many photos. However, I believe we should consider the new trend in the world, people love sharing what they eat what they sh.t :slight_smile:
Not that I like supporting the idea of having too many photos but in order to get attention I believe we should any way of limitation and provide almost absolute freedom for the users to customize the way you like. I would let them to add as much photos as they could or not if they don’t if they don’t want to.

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I’m going to sound very oldschool here, but I liked reading super detailed/long profiles to get an idea for a person before reaching out to them. This was lost over time (probably as became more photo-centric).

It would be great to provide a tutorial or examples to new members on what constitutes an effective/complete profile. And maybe a % complete bar, as they fill in details, and they get rewarded once it’s at over ~80%…


I enjoyed too reading people’s profiles. Of course it gives a biased view of that person, but it does often give you an idea of what kind of person they are and if you’d get along well with them (something super important if you’ll be hosting them or surfing with them!).

I really like this idea of adding small rewards for doing “good” things. I think giving people a bit more visibility if they have a comprehensive profile is a good idea (and not just one where they filled in something in every field, but rather one that gives a good impression of who they are). But it also has to be known, something like “those with full profiles show up a bit higher in results”.


What if you can’t send a request without having all sections of your profile filled? Too much?

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I think that while it’s important to have a full profile, it’s also important to reduce friction in interactions.

From what I’ve discussed with people, this is also a bit of a hot topic: some really only want to interact with users that have full profiles, and others don’t care at all, really. So maybe we should let the user make the decisions: make it a filter (only show users with full profiles), or a note you can put on your profile (I only host users with filled-in profiles)?


I personally didn’t have my own profile fully filled, and was way too lazy to read in detail when others had a wall of text in theirs. Still was able to form great connections with people by proactively reaching out. I don’t think the amount of content in one’s profile is a good indication of how sincere they are in getting to know others and experiencing other cultures.

To be blunt, if there were any hard restrictions in that sense, I would be pretty turned off using the platform. Not against having a filter though, I understand it’s kind of a personal preference :slight_smile:


I agree with this one. I rarely requested to stay with or hosted people with hardly any text on their profile- even if they had a million photos.

Speaking of user profiles, I have written a rather extensive (and elaborate) profile text this evening. Now I’ve checked the size and it works out at 2964 characters including spaces.

Despite care to attention, the site won’t let me upload said text because it is allegedly exceeds 3000 characters, which isn’t true. Well it isn’t unless Google Docs is lying to me.

Please help. Thanks.


Hi Niek, do you mean for your profile about section here on the forums? I’ll be happy to help troubleshoot it with you, but just want to point out that the platform will have its own profile set up - not sure what the character limit will be, but @aapeli probably knows the answer to that question.

Good morning Emily,

Can’t answer right now. I’m on my mobile phone - the issue I ran into occurred on my laptop. I’ll get back to you as soon as I have fired up old laptop. :+1:t3:

Below is the link I was on about.

The “about me” field only allows for 3000 characters but as said before, this doesn’t work for me. Must be a minor glitch and not important in the grand scheme of things. :slight_smile:

This discussion is really interesting already. It seems like there’s 4 things people look for:

  • Profile text
  • References
  • Photos
  • Message text

Seems like even in this small sample of people, the degree to which each of these are important is completely different for each person. To me, it seems like flexibility will be key here. We don’t want to mandate things that may turn people away, as @kellyt mentioned, but also we don’t want people to have to sift through tons of profiles. Customisation and good filtering seems like the way to go here.

@anon46748786 as a heavy photo user yourself, how many do you have uploaded to CS? It’s good to get an idea because photos are relatively expensive to host on the app.


This comment sparked my interest. There are numerous websites that offer limited information through the corresponding app. PayPal and eBay spring to mind. (Instagram works the other way around - the app has more features than the website)

I understand the idea behind it, but I find it frustrating to not be able to access certain bits of information because of this. Hence I find myself often using the desktop version of a website on my smartphone, cue lots of scrolling and zooming. :joy:

Having limited functions in an app makes for a lean, clean design (Facebook are you listening?) and faster operation, we just need to assess what is relevant. And what is not, obviously.

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I like 2 thinks in a profile

  1. the practical stuff: smoking ? sleep accomodation. Pets and what kind ? Gender limitations ? …
    A lot of these things is candidate material to filter on. As much as possible, thank you :slight_smile:
  2. Personal stuff: give us the chance to be as creative (or non-creative) as we want.
    This is about who we are. If a profile is interesting or not, that’s for me as a host to decide.
    I would even love to have a wiki - alike page where I can do what I please.

I used to have a rather lengthy profile on CS but while I took care it was up to date there will have been plenty of information that was unnecessary, piling up over the years. As seen in the discussion some people (perhaps me) love a wall of text and can’t be bothered to scroll through a million photos, others prefer a picture over a thousand words. Regarding profile structure I don’t have much beef with CS. The division into (1) personal and (2) couch info made sense and in my opinion nudged people into writing at least something about each of these; and this could be very detailed or very sparse then. Especially in places with lots of hosts and lower than average chances of getting hosted, i.e. places where a number of requests had to be written, couch info always is gold to me, often making someone’s preferences clearer than what they had written about themselves.

So maybe that’s something we should keep. Make sure there’s a minimum of information on people and couches (metonymically for: their houses & hoods, too), then provide prompts to write more details.


I think a great feature is to immediately outline what kind of Host you are/What kind of surfer you are looking for

  • let’s party all night
  • let’s stay in and cook
  • let’s do a bit of both

I love long detailed profiles and even put a password in mine because it was way too often people weren’t reading it, and after reading their profile, after a request was sent, I saw that we would not get along - something the potential surfer could have realised if they read my profile. Also it filters out people mass-requesting.

You could even have a feature like:

  • Check out my profile before requesting!
  • Check out my pics before requesting!

this could then reduce the annoyance of hosts who like surfers to read their profile?

I only ever uploaded photo’s when I was something bored, but I understand that some people are photo folk and other are text folk.

I never had the app


I never got nearly as many requests to need a passphrase or such; and while I see the advantage, I always found them a bit unelegant. What I liked as a surfer was when there was only a nickname on a host’s profile, but you could address them properly because the real name was referred to in the references.