Facebook has announced testing of a new option within its mobile app designed to connect neighbors. Initially, the option will be limited to only a few cities in Canada and the United States.
It is unknown at this time whether this option will be extended beyond the United States and Canada, and depends on whether it will be successful in the test.
Facebook Neighborhoods will be based on connecting people who live in the same neighborhood, as well as finding people who have the same interests such as sports, reading, pets and the like. Also, the Zuckerberg company envisioned this option as a virtual place to discuss all the problems in the neighborhood.
Android and Apple phone users who choose to use this option will need to be able to share their location so that Facebook can connect them with people living near them. In addition to the classic profile information, users will be able to share information about their interests, and will be able to choose the role they want to have in their neighborhood – for example, they can emphasize how they want to use this option to meet people and socialize while others can identify as “helpers”.
Testing of Facebook Neighborhoods has already started in Canada and, according to Reid Patton, who manages this project, has so far been mostly used to find lost pets, organize trips, make new friends, find masters, etc.
In theory, this tool seems useful, but it will be seen what it will look like in practice, because it will probably mean giving new data to Facebook, and it will be necessary to monitor and manage the content that is published, which often proved to be a big challenge for Facebook moderators and algorithms, always grown up.