Facebook Neighborhoods – a new day and a new clone of yet another popular social media apps by social media behemoths!
Facebook’s Nextdoor clone has been made available in Canada and it will soon be released in four U.S. cities. According to media reports, the U.S locations being targetted are Charlotte, North Carolina; San Diego, California; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Newark, New Jersey.
Similar to Nextdoor, Neighborhoods by Facebook is all about socialising geographically in defined groups. It offers a unified space wherein a user can discuss local ongoings. Facebook says that its hyperlocal social media app will help users get to know their users better, ask for recommendations for coffee shops, locksmiths, etc or organize a local event. But that is not all.
Neighborhoods will also allow users to specifically focus on their interests and communicate with others who share them.
Facebook, in a blog post about their Nextdoor-clone, said that users can create their own Neighborhood-bounded groups based on their interests. For instance, if you are someone interested in bird watching, or keen on discussing sports, you can create a group for exactly that.
Now, because users are being encouraged to share their thoughts about their locality, note here that it is pretty evident that many such activities will devolve into political arguments, petty fights and quite possibly outright racism (as seen on Nextdoor). And, we all know, Facebook has had a not-so-good track record when it comes to letting groups of users hang out.
Facebook Groups for long has been identified as a thriving hotbed of unmoderated extremism, misinformation and conspiracy theory. Thus, now it would be interesting to observe how the social media behemoth plans to tackle the very same problems in their new product Neighborhoods.
That being said, note that only users aged 18 and above are being allowed to join these groups wherein they can create a new profile (separate from their main Facebook account).
Neighborhoods users will be able to choose what interests they want to add and which places they wish to remain updated about. Also, the platform has a standard bio feature which can be useful when it comes to introducing themselves to other users in their locality.
People will also be able to take on various specific roles such as ‘socializer’, ‘helper’, ‘welcomer’ etc based on their activities on the platform.
Reid Patton, a product manager for Neighborhoods, said that each group on the newly released platform will have a moderator whose job will be to make sure people are acting within the set guidelines and being kind to one another.
However, it is yet not clear what powers will be bestowed upon them by Facebook as of yet. All in all, it is well understood that the social media behemoth continues to tread on its time tested path of killing its competition via copying them. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.