Last October, Facebook tested out a new feature called ‘Neighbourhoods’ in Calgary, Alberta. The feature allowed users to connect with their neighbours to chat about local happenings in a more friendly, intimate setting than Facebook’s traditional ‘Groups’ feature.
This week, Facebook launched Neighbourhoods across Canada. In a press release, the company explains that the feature expands on the way that users normally connect with their communities through the app.
“People have always used Facebook to connect with their neighbours – rallying to support local businesses, asking for recommendations and tips in local groups, offering support, or meeting neighbours who share common interests,” Facebook said. “Throughout the pandemic and especially in the past year, we’ve seen just how crucial these connections can be. Facebook Neighbourhoods makes it easier to do this, bringing the local experience across Facebook into one place.”
A notable feature of Neighbourhoods is the ‘Recommendations’ option. This allows users to ask about or suggest businesses in the area. Users can also vote in polls asking for local business suggestions.
Small businesses interested in topics like Local SEO should pay attention to this feature. After all, if Neighbourhoods becomes a successful feature, it’s reasonable to expect that Facebook will launch an ad option specifically made for Neighbourhoods.
The new feature has been compared to Nextdoor, an independent app that offers a similar user experience. Nextdoor became particularly popular since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Neighbourhoods is currently only available in Canada, though Facebook plans to launch the service in the U.S. soon.