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New Facebook ‘Neighborhoods’ feature to connect local communities in pandemic

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Facebook on Wednesday announced to test a new hyperlocal feature called Neighborhoods that will be a dedicated space to help you connect with your neighbors, participate in your local community and discover new places nearby in the pandemic-hit world.

This feature is currently available in Canada and will begin to roll out to select US cities soon. Neighborhoods is an opt-in experience within the Facebook app so you choose whether to join Neighborhoods and create a profile.

To join, you’ll need to be 18 years or older and confirm your neighborhood.

“You can choose to join just your own neighborhood or, in addition, you also have the option to join your Nearby Neighborhoods to see neighbors and posts from your surrounding neighborhoods,” the company said in a statement.

When you create your Neighborhoods profile, you can choose to add interests, favourite places and a bio so people can get to know you within the Neighborhoods Directory.

You can write a post to introduce yourself, participate in discussions on posts from fellow neighbors and answer Neighborhoods Questions in the dedicated feed.

“People can also take on roles within Neighborhoods, including socialisers who spark friendly conversations,” said Reid Patton, Product Manager, Facebook Neighborhoods.

Admins of local Facebook Groups can add their Group into Neighborhoods to make it easy for people living nearby to find it, and people using Neighbourhoods can create or join Neighbourhoods-bounded groups that are accessible within the Neighbourhoods experience.

“We built Neighborhoods to be safe and inclusive, with Neighborhoods Guidelines to help keep interactions among neighbors relevant and kind. Neighborhoods have moderators who use these Guidelines to review posts and comments in the Neighborhoods feed,” Facebook said.

If the post violates Facebook Community Standards, the post will be removed from Neighborhoods.

“You can block someone on Facebook or Neighborhoods and we won’t inform them”.


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