Craig doesn't live here: Roommates app expands to new cities

Consider this: The average rent for a studio in San Francisco is $2,312 a month.

That’s like buying twelve iPhone 5s every month.

So, it’s particularly unsurprising that many people in the city are opting to stay in—or look for—roommate situations over living solo. But living with one (or several) other people is a balancing act and it can be difficult to find someone who has just the right attitude for your abode, especially if you’re a drummer with four cats looking for a vegan household with a backyard.

An example of a Roommates profile

ApartmentList.com has made that one step easier by offering up an app to help you find, screen, and connect with potential roommates, appropriately enough called Roommates, and on Thursday it launched in four additional cities—New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston residents now also have access to the app.

ApartmentListing.com has done well since its launch in San Francisco in September 2011—last month it reached 1.2 million renters. Its Roommates app, available for iOS and Android, is nearly effortless to set up. Users log in using their Facebook profile and the app pulls profile photos as well as information about your job, your schooling, and your circle of friends to create a Roommates profile for you. You can set a monthly budget, specify your preferred neighborhoods, and optionally add your interests, all the better for finding fellow tuba players or crochet enthusiasts to shack up with.

A Roommates listing.

From there the app will show you the profiles of other users looking for apartments and room shares in your area. If they look like someone you’d like to know more about, you can tell the app and if the other user is agreeable, it will place you both into a chat room so that you can get acquainted.

The company is looking into expanding the app's capabilities by rolling out the service to more cities, making improvements to the sorting algorithms, and including more options, such as leaving a testimonial for a landlord. We'd like to see the ability to change the selection of photos, which seem to be pulled from our Facebook profile at random, and the option to record a little video greeting in which we promise to never leave dishes in the sink. The web site also offers up infographics on the typical roommate for particular neighborhoods.

Looking for an apartment is hard, and Craiglist isn’t always your friend when it comes to finding someone you can stand to have in your space 24/7. Roommates is a solid leap in the right direction, offering up an easier way to locate an accommodation.

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