Nextdoor

Nextdoor Inc.
Type of business Private
Type of site
Social networking service
Founded 2008 (2008)
Headquarters San Francisco, California
Area served France, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States
Website nextdoor.com
Native client(s) on iOS, Android, web

Nextdoor is a social networking service for neighborhoods and is based in San Francisco, California, US. It was founded in 2008 and launched in the United States in October 2011.[1]

People using Nextdoor are supposed to use their real names and physical addresses. The visibility of posts is not public, and ostensibly not defined by 'friends' or 'groups', as it happens in other social-media platforms. Instead, visibility is supposedly determined by the geographical neighborhood in which users actually reside, creating a hyperlocal trend.[2]

Nextdoor has stated it's trying "new approaches" to enforce rules against racial profiling and discrimination, which have been the focus of complaints from communities around the US since 2015.

History

Nextdoor was co-founded by Sarah Leary, Nirav Tolia, Prakash Janakiraman and David Wiesen in 2011. Tolia had previously helped start Epinions. Early investors included Benchmark Capital, Shasta Ventures, and Rich Barton. As of February 2014 Nextdoor had 80 to 100 employees.[3] In July 2012, Nextdoor raised US$18.6 million in venture capital funding.[4] Dan Clancy (formerly of Google) joined Nextdoor in February 2014.[5]

In July 2018, Nirav Tolia, Nextdoor's CEO and one of its co-founders, announced plans to bring in someone else to take over the position of chief executive officer,[6] stating he intended to become chair of the company's board once the transition is complete.

Nextdoor had raised $285 million in financing, as of December 2017.[7] About $75 million in new funding announced that month put its valuation at $1.5 billion.[8]

According to the Wall Street Journal, by 2013, Nextdoor's inflow of funds through investments indicated that the company was not generating revenue.[9]

Nextdoor introduced advertising to the platform, including real estate advertising, in 2017.[10] Advertising includes posts inside user's feeds about business services and products. In February 2017, Nextdoor acquired the UK local social network service Streetlife in a "multimillion pound deal".[11] The service became available in the Netherlands in February 2016[12], in Germany in 2017,[13] and in France in February 2018.[14]

Use

Typical platform uses include neighbors reporting on news and events in their "neighborhood" and members asking each other for local service-provider recommendations. "Neighborhood" borders were initially established with Maponics, a provider of geographical information.[2] According to the platform's rules, members whose addresses fall outside the boundaries of existing neighborhoods can establish their own neighborhoods.[15][16] "Founding" members of neighborhoods determine the name of the neighborhood and its boundaries, although Nextdoor retains the authority to change either of these.[17] A member must attract a minimum of 10 households to establish a new "neighborhood," as of November 2016.[18] A "neighborhood" usually has between 100 and 3000 households, Nextdoor reports,[19] with an average size, in 2018, of 700 households.[20]

While allowing for "civil debate", the platform prohibits canvassing for votes on forums. The service does however allow separate forums just for political discussions. According to the New York Times, these discussions are "separated from [a user's regular] neighborhood feeds".[21] The company had established these separate forums in 12 markets by 2018. The company has stated it "has no plans" to accept political advertising.[21]

Partnerships

The company exchanges services with government agencies such as the California Secretary of State's office and the District of Columbia Board of Elections. These public agencies collect and present voter-education information, such as voting locations and voter registration deadlines. This is offered as a link in the Nextdoor platform for members in those neighborhoods.[22]

The platform reports increased activity during disasters.[23] In May 2017, the company offered its services to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in order, as stated, to facilitate the agency delivering geo-targeted "emergency and disaster preparedness" alerts through the platform.[24] A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration partnership allows Nextdoor to send out local-community alerts during extreme weather incidents.[21]

Criticism

Starting around 2015, complaints about Nextdoor being used for racial profiling within neighborhoods arose around the country.[25][26] In 2016, Nextdoor said it was a social problem found on any public platform, but could be particularly acute on Nextdoor.[26]

Law enforcement officials in Oakland California, who had generally embraced the forum as a means to connect with local residents, were wary of being seen as endorsing or associating with a website that enables racial profiling.[26] Nextdoor changed its user interface, ostensibly in order to make it harder for users to create race-based posts.[27] After the change, the Oakland Police Department said the changes made Nextdoor "more helpful" to the police department's work.[28]

The police department in Seattle had been engaging with people through "town hall meetings" held on the platform, but in 2016 concerns were raised about whether their engagement complied with open meeting laws.[29]

Nextdoor's different privacy and safety policies reportedly provoked concerns among some users of Streetlife.[30][31]

References

  1. Lee, Ellen (March 2, 2012). "Nextdoor offers online forum for neighborhoods". San Francisco Chronicle.
  2. 1 2 Stross, Randall (12 May 2012). "Meet Your Neighbors, if Only Online". New York Times. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  3. Isaac, Mike (February 4, 2014). "Nextdoor Taps Google Vet Dan Clancy for VP of Engineering Post". Re/code. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  4. Bopper, Ben (July 24, 2012). "Nextdoor, the social network for neighbors, raises $18.6 million to help Americans stop bowling alone". The Verge.
  5. Website Dan Clancy, Feb. 2014
  6. Wagner, Kurt; Schleifer, Theodore (25 July 2018). "The CEO of Nextdoor, Nirav Tolia, will step down". Recode. Vox Media. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  7. "Nextdoor Raises $75M Funding Round, Easily One of Gov Tech's Largest Deals of the Year". www.govtech.com. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  8. "Nextdoor raised about $75 million to connect neighbors – TechCrunch". techcrunch.com. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  9. Koh, Yoree (October 29, 2013). "Well-Heeled Neighbors: Nextdoor Raises $60 Million". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  10. Kolodny, Lora (2017-08-08). "Billion-dollar neighborhood social network Nextdoor moves against Zillow, Redfin". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  11. Cellan-Jones, Rory (6 February 2017). "US neighbours' network Nextdoor buys UK's Streetlife". BBC News.
  12. "facebook voor buren gelanceerd in nederland". Volkskrant. February 16, 2016. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  13. "Why Nextdoor Believes It Can Be Social Media's Next $1 Billion Advertising Machine". Retrieved 2018-05-05.
  14. "Nextdoor is expanding to France to connect neighbors – TechCrunch". techcrunch.com. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  15. Lightner, Rob (21 September 2012). "Start or join a neighborhood social network with Nextdoor". CNET. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  16. "How are Nextdoor neighborhoods created?". Nextdoor.com. Nextdoor. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  17. "How are Nextdoor neighborhoods created?". Nextdoor. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  18. Kalen, Christian (28 November 2016). "Sonoma is a Nextdoor neighborhood". Sonoma Index-Register. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  19. "How big are Nextdoor neighborhoods?". Nextdoor.com. Nextdoor. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  20. Lee, Wendy (12 January 2018). "With new feature, Nextdoor encourages users to share 'interests'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  21. 1 2 3 "Nextdoor and NOAA Partner to Better Prepare Americans for Severe Weather". www.govtech.com. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  22. Holson, Laura (13 July 2018). "Nextdoor Is Betting a Social Network Can Still Be a Platform for Politics". Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  23. "Nextdoor helps neighbors connect during Harvey". KHOU. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  24. "FEMA Emergency Messaging to Start on Nextdoor App | EfficientGov". EfficientGov. 2017-05-24. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  25. Levin, Sam (October 7, 2015). "Racial Profiling Via Nextdoor.com". East Bay Express. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  26. 1 2 3 Medina, Jennifer (May 18, 2016). "Website Meant to Connect Neighbors Hears Complaints of Racial Profiling". The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  27. "How Nextdoor Addressed Racial Profiling on Its Platform". Harvard Business Review. 2018-05-11. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  28. Shahani, Aarti (August 23, 2016). "Social Network Nextdoor Moves To Block Racial Profiling Online". National Public Radio. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  29. Waddell, Kaveh (4 May 2016). "The Police Officer 'Nextdoor'". The Atlantic.
  30. Cellan-Jones, Rory (9 February 2017). "Streetlife users in Nextdoor privacy row". BBC News.
  31. Streetlife users urged to consider privacy & safety Get Safe Online 17 Feb 2017
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