On 31 May 2018, Google launches a new app called Neighbourly in India. The Neighbourly app is a Social Platform currently limited to 2 cities in India. Firstly, In Mumbai, India’s largest city and the most prominent financial centre, and also in Jaipur 6 days ago. This hyper-local social network avails people to request and suggest answers to the questions and share local expertise. So now users can keep in touch with the neighbourhood minus the clutter of ‘Good Morning’ and other pointless messages like some social media apps.
Introducing Neighbourly, a new app by Google that helps you find local answers and keep up with your neighbourhood. The beta version is available today in Mumbai. If you're in a different city, join the waitlist. Get it at https://t.co/ijKus56WWd #IAmNeighbourly pic.twitter.com/bEDtn6V2bp
— Google India (@GoogleIndia) May 31, 2018
Details on the Neighbourly App
The ‘Neighbourly: Ask Local Questions & Get Answers’ app is currently in Beta. You may join the app’s waitlist if you live outside of Jaipur and Mumbai in India. Neighbourly App is right now only available for Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) and higher devices. Neighbourly hitches you to the nearby community with the most relevant, up-to-date insights in your locality. The app uses Google’s expert speech recognition technology. Furthermore, the app can transcribe your questions into eight languages.
(Source: Neighbourly App)
Importance of Personal Safety in Neighbourly App
The app somewhat sounds very safe on a personal level. Without sharing all of your personal information, you get to find, ask and answer questions. Personal details like user’s full name, phone number, and other contact information are entirely private while using the app. Only your first name and a small profile picture will show up while answering or questioning. No direct messages can take place between two users. Interestingly enough the app also rewards the most helpful neighbours with badges and ‘exclusive’ community events. Hence, at a time when Facebook is trying to recover trust over security concerns, neighbourly app is being seen as an attractive platform when it comes to privacy.
Neighbourly App Is a Serious Competition To Facebook and WhatsApp In India
As of 2018, India accounts for 12% of total Facebook users worldwide, thus finally overtaking the U.S. regarding Facebook user figures. So now facebook stands the highest in India with 270 million users, followed by the former top users, the US with 240 million and Indonesia (140 Million facebook users).
Rather than following people like on Facebook, users can follow a question and bookmark Q&As for later. App serves top 15 Q&As which users can swipe left or right. Ultimately to help background algorithms in understanding each user’s needs.
According to the New York-based analyst at Forrester Research, Brandon Verblow:
“General social networking is currently dominated by Facebook and peer-to-peer messaging by WhatsApp. However, opportunities for local networking have not yet been thoroughly exploited.” (Source: Bloomberg)
Furthermore, when it comes to storage usage, currently Facebook uses 168 MB (5.2 MB for Lite version with some advantages stripped down). Meanwhile, Neighbourly App asks for just 7 MB of space making it easier to use on small storage phones.
Neighbourly is helping Google who has long aspired to be the go-to platform in India. It is creating a vast potential over the social media space in a Facebook and WhatsApp dominant country. Right now, the rate of rising security issues, fake news and trolling is nothing in comparison. At this rate, if appropriately exploited, this new Neighbourly App could help Google take on Facebook and WhatsApp.
You may also like to read: Google One – Google’s new storage service.