Facebook is once again copying the features of another fast-growing social network.
The Silicon Valley giant has rolled out a copycat of Nextdoor, which allows users to join neighborhood-based groups in order to have a more local Facebook experience.
Called “Neighborhoods,” the feature is essentially a mini social network within Facebook. In its Canadian beta test, Facebook has allowed users to create profiles designed specifically to be shown to the people in their area, and will also target users with “more relevant” ads, according to screenshots posted on Twitter by user Matt Navarra.
Facebook will require users to confirm their location “one time” in order to suggest a Neighborhood group to join, and says that users can turn off location tracking once they have done this if they want to.
“More than ever, people are using Facebook to participate in their local communities. To help make it easier to do this, we are rolling out a limited test of Neighborhoods, a dedicated space within Facebook for people to connect with their neighbors,” the company told TechCrunch in a statement.
The service brings Facebook into the wheelhouse of Nextdoor, which pitches itself as a “hyperlocal” social network where users can exchange “helpful information, goods and services” with their neighbors.
Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Nextdoor, which has almost 270,000 neighborhood networks on its site, is considering going public by the end of next year.
Facebook is well-versed in copying its competitors. It previously rolled out apps called Poke and Camera — imitations of Snapchat and Instagram — before killing them after they failed to gain traction. It also recently shut down Pinterest clone Hobbi.
Earlier this year, Facebook-owned Instagram rolled out a TikTok-like tool called Reels. Instagram has found great success copying the features of Facebook’s rivals, including stealing stories and face filters from Snapchat.
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