San Diego Part of Facebook Neighborhoods Rollout As Tech Giant Dips into Nextdoor’s Territory

Social media Hyperlocal
Handout images showing a mockup of Facebook’s Neighborhoods feature. Courtesy, Facebook/via REUTERS

When Facebook began testing its new “Neighborhoods” feature in Canada last October amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the tech giant described it as a dedicated place for people to connect with their local communities.

Here, in a corner of the world’s largest social network, people met neighbors, shared banana bread ingredients, helped locate missing cats and swapped local business recommendations, the feature’s product manager Reid Patton said in a recent interview.

But Facebook, which is rolling out the feature in four U.S. cities – including San Diego – is already playing catch-up in the red-hot market for local social apps.

Community site Nextdoor has emerged as a key player along with Amazon Ring’s Neighbors and crime-tracking app Citizen. Nextdoor, which saw usage surge during lockdowns, reported 50% annual growth in daily active users last year.

Facebook has in recent years focused on on-site communities that matter to its users as a tactic to drive engagement.