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A new social network, Nextdoor, launches in the UK for you and your neighbours

image copyrightNextdoor

A new social network which aims to bring neighbours closer together has launched in the UK.

Nextdoor has been a huge success in the US and was launched in the Netherlands in February.

It aims to encourage social interaction between neighbours and make people aware of crime in their area.

The social network has already been trialled in 500 neighbourhoods across the UK.

"Every neighbour, in every neighbourhood, would benefit from a platform that makes it easier to connect and communicate with the people who live right next door," says Nirav Tolia, Nextdoor's CEO in an official statement.

He also revealed that Brexit also played a part in the decision to make the UK the next country in which to launch Nextdoor.

"We feel like Nextdoor is something that will help weather the storm," he tells Fortune magazine.

image copyrightNextdoor
image captionUsers are encouraged to exchange messages about their local area

After joining the site and uploading your address and postcode, you are connected with people living in your area - as you would be on Facebook, except these are people living near you.

You can see updates and public posts from these people.

If you don't want to hand over your phone number, you can choose to receive a postcard to get registered.

In the US, the site has caused controversy after coming under fire for users' racial profiling in reporting supposed criminal incidents.

It was claimed members had reported black people being seen in certain areas, despite there being no criminal activity.

The site later introduced "ethical questions" users answered before being allowed to post. There has since been a reported a 75% drop in race-related posts.

Nirav Tolia says for now, this feature will not be part of the UK network but could be in the future.

He will be hoping that the story of Nextdoor is more Facebook than Friendster and doesn't end up on the social media scrap heap.

Here's a brief history of the social networks we've loved (briefly) and lost.

Apple Ping

image copyrightApple

Apple's first attempt to break into the social media market was with the short-lived Apple Ping in 2010.

It was intended to be a music recommendation service and to encourage interaction between friends, stars and fans.

Instead, it was reportedly flooded with spam and fake accounts.

The service was shut down in 2012 and Apple now runs its Connect service through iTunes.

Yahoo 360

image copyrightYahoo 360

US internet giant Yahoo worked on a social network in 2005 with social elements built onto its existing email and photos services.

It was trialled in several parts of the world, including the US and UK.

Users weren't so keen, and it was shut down in 2008 before it was given an official launch across the rest of the world.

Friends Reunited

image copyrightFriends Reunited

Friends Reunited was the first big social network to capture the imagination of British internet users when it was launched in 2000.

It was such a big deal, there were Friends Reunited CDs, TV programmes and books. You wouldn't get that from Twitter.

The husband and wife who invented the site sold it to ITV for £120 million in 2005. ITV sold it on in 2009 for £25m.

In 2011 it was valued at just £5.2m and closed its virtual doors in January 2016.


image copyrightFriendster

Friendster was a successful social network between 2002 and 2011.

It found even more success as a social gaming site after rebranding in 2011 due to direct competition from Facebook.

At one point it had 115 million registered users but its success was short lived and closed down in 2015 after the community lost interest in the site's services.


image copyrightMySpace

MySpace was the biggest social media site in the world between 2005 and 2009, before the rise of Facebook took its place.

MySpace mixed music with networking and remains online as a music and entertainment website to this day - but on a much smaller scale.

There are no longer any social media elements to its offering. Instead it covers celebrity news and a focus on introducing new artists to users.

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