Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Airbnb Beefs Up Mobile Team With Hires From Apple and Voxer

Justin Santamaria and Gustaf Alstromer

Justin Santamaria and Gustaf Alstromer

Everybody in tech is all “mobilemobilemobile” these days, but that’s perhaps even more true for Airbnb, given that it’s all about coordinating travel on the go. The company now gets 37 percent of its usage on mobile — it’s less about accommodation browsing, more about interaction between hosts and guests — up from 26 percent last fall.

In recent months, Airbnb has made significant additions to its mobile team, the company tells AllThingsD. It snagged Justin Santamaria, who was at Apple for nearly 10 years and was one of the first engineers on the iPhone, leading development on products like iMessage. Santamaria’s title at Airbnb is “mobile product lead.”

Plus, Gustaf Alstromer joined Airbnb from Voxer, where he won a reputation as one of tech’s leading “growth hackers” for getting the walkie-talkie app hundreds of thousands of downloads per day. Airbnb’s mobile apps have been downloaded 2.5 million times, the company said, up from one million for the iPhone app last fall. Alstromer’s new title is “head of growth.”

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik