Facebook plans to add a neighborhood-centric mini social network called “Neighborhoods” to its platform. The social networking site is currently testing this new feature in Calgary, Canada.
Facebook‘s Neighborhoods allows a user to interact with other users located in the same vicinity. The user can create a separate profile and share limited information on this mini social network.
Although this is a new outing for Facebook, hypersocial networking isn’t really a new concept. NextDoor, founded in 2008, has previously vouched for the feasibility of a hypersocial network.
As of now, Nextdoor operates in 11 countries, including the US. Bloomberg reports that the company is also looking to open its shares for the public with a valuation in the range of $4 to $5 billion.
A Sneak Peek Into Facebook Neighborhoods
Recently, Matt Navarra, a social media industry expert, revealed some screenshots of the Neighborhoods feature on Twitter.
The screenshots, among other features, show that the user will have to grant location permission to use Facebook’s new addition. The social media giant also mentions it up-front that “Location Services” will be used for showing more relevant ads.
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Navarra also shows the profile creation menu where the user can share his details like bio, interests, favorite places in the neighborhood, etc. This profile will be visible to other nearby Facebook Neighborhoods users and those living in localities the user has selected to share information with.
One of the screenshots confirms that users will have to abide by Facebook’s “Community Standards” while using this new feature as well. This is a good prompt in the wake of allegations aimed at Facebook for its lukewarm response to groups that instigate violence.
In the past, hypersocial networks such as NextDoor have received criticism for various reasons, including racially profiling the users. It will be interesting to see how Facebook Neighborhoods looks to dodge this bullet.