Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) is piloting a new feature called Neighbourhoods, allowing users to get to know neighbors by joining community-based groups. This comes just weeks after reports that the hyperlocal social network NextDoor was ready to go public.
Facebook to launch a feature that allows community-based group connections
During the pandemic, social media use to connect with local services and neighbors surged, and Facebook is looking to leverage this opportunity directly. The company has commenced testing a NextDoor clone called Neighborhoods, suggesting local neighborhood groups for you to join and connect with people, things sold, and activities around the area.
According to a Facebook spokesperson, users are using Facebook to take part in activities in local communities. As a result, the company wants to make it easier to connect with communities with the launch of a limited test of Neighborhoods, which is a space within Facebook allowing users to connect with neighbors. Facebook community standards will still apply inside this new feature, and the company has encouraged users to keep it clean.
Social media consultant Matt Navarra tweeted that Facebook is taking on NextDoor with a Neighborhood features piloted in Calgary, Canada. In the tweet, Navarra indicated that a user can pick a local neighborhood with the new feature and allow Facebook to use their location to show groups, posts, and marketplace items within the area. Interestingly one can create a Neighborhood profile so that users not on Facebook can learn more about you.
Neighborhood to compete with Nextdoor
If the company makes Neighborhood widely available, it will take on NexgtDoor, which currently serves almost 25% of US neighborhoods and 268,000 globally. The Nextdoor app allows users to inform neighbors about events, sell products, and post about crimes and loud parties. Recently the company pulled a “forward to police” feature following concerns over racial abuse. Nextdoor has demonstrated this model’s viability and wants to the public with an IPO valuation of between $4 billion and $5 billion.