Facebook started working on a Nextdoor-like feature late last year aimed at letting users socialize with people that live nearby. Dubbed Neighborhoods, it was initially tested in a limited capacity in Calgary, Canada, and now its availability is expanding.
The social media giant announced today that it is testing Neighborhoods in Canada and will launch it soon in the U.S. as well. It is essentially a new destination within the Facebook app meant to connect people living in a neighborhood and curate local goings-on in the news feed. You can even get recommendations for places, such as the best coffee shop around. There's an option to join a Neighborhood comprising your own locality or another nearby Neighborhood.
Neighborhoods is open to users 18 years of age or older. To join, you must set up a profile that's different from your main Facebook profile. You can then select your interests, create a custom bio, answer questions from your neighbors, and interact with local groups, among other features. Further, groups can be created within the new section, or admins of existing Facebook Groups can add that group to Neighborhoods. You can also block other users which removes you from the blocked user's Neighborhoods directory.
Finally, each Neighborhood will have moderators to ensure members adhere to the standards and guidelines for posts and comments. The moderators can also hide a post that violates the rules and Facebook will take action to review the flagged content. The new feature is optional, of course, although Facebook will share your activity within a Neighborhood to serve you targeted ads when you sign up for it.