04 Jan Launched: RoomSync for iPhone and Android
We are excited to announce the launch of RoomSync mobile! These new apps represent a huge leap forward in roommate matching technology. Before I dig into all the bells and whistles, I’d like to explain why we decided to upgrade the matching experience.
To get the best roommates with the least conflict, we optimize for two things: incorporate social media into the matching process and empower residents to self-select roommates.
Social Media: When a resident wants to get to know someone better, they go online. They visit Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media. These sites give a more 3D view of who a person is and what they care about. The result is better roommate decisions.
Self-Select: This one is trickier. We want residents to take ownership of their roommate selection. By choosing their own roommates, they are more likely to remain with them throughout the year. They are also more likely to work through differences. This is related to the psychological principle of attribution theory. Whoever controls a decision is likely to be blamed for that decision if it doesn’t prove successful.
We want residents to take ownership of their roommate choice. However, this can be a daunting task for some, fraught with social anxiety and fear of rejection. The process begins with reaching out to a stranger. At RoomSync, we want to make it easier to start a conversation with someone.
Information like mutual friends or a shared interest can be a great conversation starter. But it is not enough. Our biggest goal with the new RoomSync mobile apps is to overcome this social anxiety so that more residents choose roommates.
Swipe to Like
In the new apps, users can see a set of virtual cards representing all of their potential roommates. Cards show a percentage compatibility along with preferences in common. Residents can click the card to see the full profile and more information about that person.
If residents see someone they like, they swipe right. If they see someone who’s not a fit, they swipe left. The other residents have no idea which way they are swiped.
When two residents swipe each other right, the app notifies them that they are Sync’d! They can now send a message and get to know each other without fear of negative response or rejection. Swiping makes it massively easy – and much less scary – to start a conversation with a stranger.
RoomSync is still accessible via a laptop or desktop computer. But these mobile apps make it so that residents can join, search, and match with roommates from their phones.
Percent Match and In Common
New to mobile is the percentage compatibility score. Residents will answer customizable lifestyle questions when they setup their matching profile. The compatibility score factors in how the resident answered compared to how their potential roommate answered.
Profiles also now have In Common icons. Icons appear when users have mutual friends or common interests and when users answers the same for questions on smoking, pets, bedtime, academic majors and housing options.
Chatting between residents is now native to RoomSync. At any time, residents can send messages to potential or current roommates without leaving the app.
Besides all the new features in RoomSync Mobile, residents will have access to many of the same great tools from the RoomSync desktop app. Features brought from desktop to mobile include:
- Lifestyle questions
- Mutual friends
- Common interests
- Instagram and Twitter profiles
- Academic majors and housing options
- Choose your own roommate
This is just the beginning and we have lots more planned in the coming months so stay tuned! We welcome any and all feedback on the new apps. If you would like to share your thoughts, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @robjcast on Twitter.