While Airbnb has made a name for itself over the years by giving people a change to put up their spare bedrooms and apartments for booking, the company’s latest moves signal that it’s gearing up for something bigger. Airbnb announced on Tuesday that it would offer last-minute and weekend getaway bookings on mobile for users in San Francisco and Los Angeles. On top of that, TechCrunch spotted a few new pages on the company’s website on Friday that invited users to book “experiences”: things like walking tours and outdoor activities offered by local hosts. Airbnb said in response, “We are always experimenting with new ways to create meaningful experiences on Airbnb, we currently don’t have any updates to share,” but these new updates and experiments suggest that the company is moving beyond simply booking spare rooms and transitioning into a vacation booking platform. It’s safe to say that Airbnb is dominating its particular niche in the sharing economy, offering properties in more than 192 countries from virtually any price point. But the company now faces greater competition from last-minute booking apps like Hotel Tonight or even traditional vacation booking sites. By offering a variety of ways that users can book rooms, including enticing them with nearby getaway spots and last-minute deals, Airbnb can take on those companies and do it without directly engaging with hotels. Get the full story at GigaOM Read also "How Airbnb used data to propel its growth to a $10B valuation" at VentureBeat, "Airbnb clone 'AlwaysOnVacation' is sneaking around Silicon Valley for cash" at VentureBeat, "Concerns grow over Airbnb ‘threat’" at BigHospitality, and "Airbnb tops traditional travel providers in online user experience" at Travel News UK