Google’s next social media venture: Neighbourly
What’s the safest park in this area? Which is the best movie theatre here? Best restaurant for budget eating in the area? We’re often looking for someone reliable to answer basic questions like these and sometimes, we don’t find the desired answers. Google finally has a solution for us!
Google has always wanted to be the go-to platform in India. And with half a billion Indians using smartphones now, Google sees it as an opportunity to become a one-stop destination for social network and payments. It succeeded as being one of the top search engines, but they haven’t succeeded in becoming the number one social media platform, thanks to Facebook’s WhatsApp.
But, Google recently came up with a hyperlocal social network called ‘Neighbourly’ challenging Facebook. The app is exclusive to Mumbai and is still being tested but has seen the light of day. According to their website, Neighbourly will help people get their local questions answered which is getting difficult with the changing times, changing people and changing places.
Of course, a person in need can ask their friends on WhatsApp for suggestions but one can not always expect an immediate reply. With Neighbourly, one can expect spontaneous replies from people in the neighbourhood.
It recommends users to answer to respectable and relevant questions. If you end up breaking the rules, you may have to face a ban. The interesting feature in Neighbourly is its reward system. With each question answered, you will get a medal i.e., Trusted, Helpful, Speedy, etc. For instance, if you get 30 likes on an answer, you get all medals in the ‘Trusted’ category. There are different rules for different sets of medals. You can keep a track of all your question and answers by tapping your profile picture at the top left corner.
Neighbourly, that took two years to be made, is already available in eight different Indian languages. It allows you to browse, ask, and answer questions without sharing any personal information.
With Google providing free Wi-Fi in over 400 railways stations and its app Tez gaining traction, this would be its third venture for its Indian users and will present them monetization opportunities eventually. Currently, Google earns up to $1 billion in this country through advertisements and is hoping for it to increase with the launch of Neighbourly.
We await to see how much this app would help people, and how much WhatsApp is eventually impacted; especially with Facebook losing users after the infamous data breach, Cambridge-Analytica scandal.
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