After only a year and half on the market, Booking.com is euthanizing Booking Now, its app specifically designed for last-minute hotel deals.
When it was released in January 2015, Booking Now was hailed by publications such as Wired as a probable silver bullet to slay reigning last-minute hotel deals app Hotel Tonight. It even expanded development to include iOS, Android, and the Apple Watch. But despite the fact the Booking Now app often delivered lower rates than Hotel Tonight, it never made a dent in the category as hoped.
Among the problems: Brands such as Hotwire and Priceline were better established as options for deep last-minute blind hotel deals; there was some confusion in the marketplace with the standard Booking.com app; and Booking Now suffered from a clumsy user interface, which required shoppers to sift through last-minute deals page by page rather than in a consolidated, one-glance format.
Users of the Booking Now app are now greeted with a welcome screen that gives functionality a D-Day of August 31, 2016, and a claim that the company "decided to focus on making our main app better than ever!" Access to last-minute deals via Booking.com does not appear to be completely lost: Frommer's comparisons indicated that the last-minute prices shown on Booking Now are also showing up in the inventory offered on the standard Booking app.