Platforms and the Sharing Economy: An Analysis EU H2020 Research Project Ps2Share: Participation, Privacy, and Power in the Sharing Economy, 2017
93 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2018
Date Written: November 28, 2017
This paper gives an in-depth overview of design guidelines for sharing platforms. It forms one part of a European Union Horizon 2020 Research Project on the sharing economy: "Ps2Share: Participation, Privacy, and Power in the Sharing Economy".
To develop a first version of design guidelines, three complementary analyses were conducted: An in-depth literature analysis, a user expectation analysis with focus groups, and an in-depth analysis of a diverse sample of 124 sharing economy platforms (SEP) and 130 sharing Facebook groups operating in Europe. The literature analysis considered the themes sharing, sharing economy, and platforms in the sharing economy and resulted in a first version of design guidelines for sharing economy platforms. The first version of design guidelines for SEP consists of five design areas: Business models, market transaction, governance structure, and culture of SEP, which are all impacted by the fifth design area of SEP, the regulatory environment in which a SEP operates. The analysis of user attitudes, experiences, and expectations towards SEP was analysed during several focus groups. This analysis revealed that participants make a clear distinction between “community-oriented sharing” and “commercial sharing” and therefore have elevated expectations about the safety and quality of service towards SEP. Furthermore, the insights from user experiences and their expectations towards SEP confirmed the core design aspects of the first version of SEP design principles developed based on literature. The identified SEP design aspects were applied for a broad analysis of a sample of 124 SEP operating in Europe and 130 Facebook groups. The analysis revealed that there are 12 global SEP platforms active in Europe that, in many industries, dominate the market. The European platforms are smaller and try to position themselves in market niches around the big players. The platform analysis revealed that the identified design principles can be applied for analysis of SEP and for identification of improvement potential.
Keywords: Sharing Economy, Sharing Economy Platforms, SEP, Design Principles, Participation, Privacy, Power, Peer-to-Peer, Regulation
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