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New roommate app takes tips from dating sites

Can men and women be friends? Dori wonders. (AP)

A new mobile app is trying to link housemates together, stealing some cues from how dating websites make connections. MatchPad attempts to pair renters based on their projected compatibility.

The site matches are based on budget for rent, location preferences, and lifestyle choices. It asks users to rate themselves in areas such as how extroverted, detail-oriented, and controlling they are, in addition to their overall cleanliness.

It then ranks potential roommates for the person using a compatibility scale of “great” to “OK.” Users can connect via private messages with potential roommates to investigate further for compatibility.

So far, more than 3,000 users have created accounts on the website since it launched in September, beginning with the New York City market. The app will be available on Android and iOS platforms in January.

MatchPad has a special section designated for real estate professionals, offering qualified leads based on location and budget.

But can a roommate-compatibility app work? Some companies-such as the dating site OKCupid-have tested this idea in the past, but the idea failed to gain traction.

“That is partly because when selecting someone to live with, even more than when picking someone to date, users tend to be choosy,” a New York Times article reported. “After all, a bad first date lasts a couple of hours; a bad roommate pairing could last a year.”

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