As you may have noticed, it is not always easy to find a partner for a reciprocal exchange. Even with the reverse search we used to have on the site, it only allowed you to filter your search results by showing the members interested in your city and may not have been very suitable for members living in the suburbs or just a short ride from a well-known destination.
Take my personal situation, for example. I come from a small village called "Ceignac", located in the center of the Aveyron, in the southern part of France. Although my village is quite unknown, there are plenty of interesting places to discover all around and a multitude of activities to experience. For example, you can go on a hike on the Aubrac plateau before having dinner in Chef Bras’ 3-star Michelin restaurant, which has been listed several times as one of the 10 best restaurants in the world. You can also drive across the Millau Viaduc, which is the highest bridge in the world ... But since most people have never heard of Ceignac, it’s not a preferred destination many members have saved so when doing a reverse search, I can never find any members who are interested in coming to my hometown.
Since many of us are in this situation, we have redesigned this feature. Now, when you activate the reverse search filter, you can choose a larger city near your home, the entire state, or even a country. In my case, I adapt according to the destination I am looking for. If I am looking for an exchange in Paris, I will enter "Aveyron" or "Rodez" (the main city in Aveyron, a 15 minutes’ drive from Ceignac) since I am addressing French people who have probably already heard of the Aveyron region or the city of Rodez. On the other hand, if I am looking for an exchange abroad, I will enter "France" to see all the members interested in coming to France (it would not have made sense for my exchange in Paris). You have the freedom to adjust your reverse search however you like!
The process of implementing the new reverse search feature took a lot longer than expected and we are very sorry. Coding can be full of surprises... The reverse search feature is linked to the localization of your home which in itself is used for other features on the site (alerts, emails, preferred destinations ...). Making a change to the reverse search code also meant updating the other features’ codes, the most important one being the search algorithm. You may have noticed that your search results are faster and now more relevant. Thanks to our amazing team of developers and data engineers, all these improvements have been achieved over the past few months!
We hope you will like this feature as much as we do. If you would like more details, we have put together a page with more information in our Help Center.
If you have comments or questions about this new feature (or anything else), feel free to contact us as we always welcome your feedback.
Nathalie from Product Team