MyTwinPlace announced at the end of July that they’ve been acquired by Nightswapping. I’m not surprised by this development. I think the partnership makes sense because these two networks were both facilitating a form of points-based home exchange using the cost of renting your home for a night as the basis. And MyTwinPlace had failed to gain traction, dropping to fewer than 1000 members at my last count this year. So I’d assume they were on the verge of shutting down.
MyTwinPlace re-vamped their swap concept in 2015 to focus on nights exchanging. Moving them closer to the Nightswapping model, but apparently not doing enough to re-energize their business model.
In their e-mail announcement MyTwinPlace boasted of 55,000 members. I’m sure this is just a cumulative count of the number of people who signed up over their four years of existence. Not an accurate count of active members. It is, however, an interesting insight into the high turnover on free house swap networks as people sign up for accounts but don’t become active participants in the network.
The MyTwinPlace website now displays this message: “The website is inactive and cannot support any new exchanges, discussions or transactions… Discover NightSwapping, the first Nights exchange community with more than 300.000 members in 160 countries.” Alongside a button that takes you to the Nightswapping website.
Unfortunately this merger is an expansion of a rental network rather than a home exchange network. I actually removed Nightswapping from my spreadsheet of home swap networks this year because they’ve moved to a peer to peer rental model. They can now be found my spreadsheet for rental lodging and other peer to peer travel services. When you host guests you earn money. That money can either be cashed out to your bank, or spent for stays with other people on Nightswapping. Whatever the other person is charging for a night stay is what you pay, either out of your account balance or with a bank card.
Technically, if someone wanted to never cash out their earnings, and only used what they’ve earned to “pay” for lodging with other folks, this system could be considered home exchanging. But even that is a stretch because the people they stay with are probably just earning money and cashing it out. The entire design of Nightswapping is now focused on money so I’m having a hard time seeing the home exchange element.
Membership in Nightswapping is free, but all stays are charged a fee which appears to be 15% of the cost of the stay.
Also beware, the claims of Nightswapping membership being more than 250,000 (on the website) or more than 300,000 (from MyTwinPlace) are entirely misleading. I can say with confidence that these counts include inactive Nightswapping members like myself who have never posted our listings. There are 5,711 listings total based on a search of staying anywhere anytime. As I’ve mentioned before, I really resent all this misleading advertising. I guess MyTwinPlace and Nightswapping were a good match on this front as well.