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Neighbourly Social Network Nextdoor Expands to Netherlands

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If you haven't heard of Nextdoor, it's probably because you either live outside of America, or have no interest in speaking to your neighbours. Maybe even both. Well, in the former case at least, you're going to start hearing about it a lot more, as it's just made the leap across the Atlantic, launching in the Netherlands.

The premise for the lesser-known platform is simple: it connects you to other people living in your local area, incorporating data from Facebook, Google, Yelp and Yahoo to do so. Post access is limited to people you live near, so your network of friends never extends beyond your postcode.

It's been running in the US since 2011, and it's unclear exactly how many users they have, but estimates put it in the 1.5 to 2 million range. It might seem like transitioning their model from country to country is simple, people live in neighbourhoods worldwide, but the social structure changes dramatically almost every time you cross a border. What makes sense in America almost certainly won't in Holland.

Local law is a good example. By association, Nextdoor has had to have a lot of involvement with local police and emergency services in the US, simply because keeping residents up to date on goings on is a key part of the platform's design. Crime reporting is often touted as one of Nextdoor's biggest benefits. This obviously works very differently in the Netherlands, from which laws are applicable to how they are maintained.

Essentially, for this expansion to continue, Nextdoor will have to establish local workforces to do research and development work before the site can go live. Their next destination is the UK, which will in turn introduce a whole new set of parameters to take into account.

You might wonder why people are even interested in a social network that connects them to their neighbours. After all, leave the house, walk a few paces and you're at their door, but building a social hub which encapsulates all the local news, organisations and needs is an appealing prospect to any parent, locally operating business owner or new resident hoping to make new friends. Many argue that social media is disconnecting us from our immediate surroundings, Nextdoor aptly demonstrates that it doesn't have to.


Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF


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Neighbourly Social Network Nextdoor Expands to Netherlands Reviewed by Callum Davies on Friday, February 19, 2016 Rating: 5

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