Facebook is testing a feature that neighbors can use to connect with each other

Facebook is building a function for users of its social network to connect with their neighbors. This is a foray into more intimate interactions, based on the idea of ​​rival Nextdoor considering an offer to the public.
Screenshots of the new Facebook feature currently being tested were shared on Twitter Tuesday by Matt Navarra, a social media consultant. The pictures show a product called “Neighborhoods” where users can enter their address and create a unique “Neighborhood Profile”. A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed that the company is testing the function in one market: Calgary. The screenshots show the software in the Canadian English spelling of its name.

Other images show Facebook reminding users that “community standards” continue to apply in the neighborhood function, and the company is encouraging people to “keep clean” and “be inclusive”.

“More than ever, people are using Facebook to participate in their local communities,” the spokeswoman said in a statement. “To make this easier, we’re introducing a limited test of neighborhoods, a special area within Facebook where people can connect with their neighbors.”

Facebook had been pushing people for more intimate interactions within the app for the past few years, including private groups and messaging, to increase the usage of its services. It has also started encouraging users to create separate profiles on their larger Facebook profile for specific cases like dating and college connections.

An early version of the product was discovered by Jane Manchun Wong back in May and shared on Twitter.

The Neighborhoods feature is notable given the popularity of Nextdoor, a neighborhood-based social network founded in 2008 that has raised approximately $ 470 million (around Rs 3,464 million) in funding. Nextdoor is considering several options to go public, including direct listing, Bloomberg News reported last week. The San Francisco-based company claims to serve more than 2.68,000 neighborhoods worldwide, including around a quarter of the US neighborhoods. Each neighborhood operates as its own mini-social network, and people use it to do everything from selling used goods to posting information about crime or happenings in the neighborhood.

When Facebook enters a new market, it can have an immediate impact on existing competitors. For example, when the Menlo Park, California-based company launched its dating product in the United States, Match shares fell as much as 7 percent.

Facebook also mimics competing products in the past and has been accused of copying many over the years, including the popular Stories feature created by Snapchat. Facebook is currently under investigation by a number of state regulators, including the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice, for alleged anti-competitive behavior. The screenshots indicating that Facebook’s Neighborhoods product is similar to Nextdoor.

You can choose your local neighborhood and allow Facebook to use your location to show posts, groups, marketplace articles, and more from your others in your neighborhood.
© 2020 Bloomberg LP

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