March 21, 2012 at 12:09 PM ET
I don't know about you, but when I need a place to stay -- which is often, since I do a fair amount of traveling -- I write my friends. A new app facilitates this kind of couch (or bed) surfing by using Facebook to help you find places to crash -- or even move in.
It's simple enough: Go to Friends With Rooms and connect using the Facebook Connect plug-in and from there, you can click on one of two options (see image above) or both: "Find friends with rooms" or "List your available rooms."
AllFacebook says the site uses Facebook's social graph (members and their connections) "to match up potential roommates with friends in common, believing this will lead to matches of people with more in common with each other, as well as giving each one the chance to ask their mutual friend or friends about the other."
But the service is still in its infancy. Usually, when I travel, I have lots of options. But when I signed up and it went through my list of 1,221 friends, it found ... nada.
The welcome email thanked me for joining, and urged me to put up a room. "With your help, we can grow and find you the perfect match," said the note, "So spread the word: please get your friends to sign up and list their spare rooms, so that next time you visit there'll be more for you to choose from!"
Yet on the page that allowed for listing rooms, I found only neighborhoods in the UK (the pound signs for rent, bills and tax are also a tip off).
Sure enough, FWR co-founder James Bradley wrote and told me, "At the moment, we're a UK-only service, though due to exceptional U.S. interest recently we are preparing to offer that functionality imminently."
For those on the hunt for new lodging -- both permanent and temporary -- this might turn out to be a good way of sending the message to a trusted group of friends. That or you could just post something as a status update.