Facebook is expanding ‘neighborhoods’ like neighbors as part of a wider giveaway on Tuesday

Facebook has announced a number of new fundraising and community support initiatives in preparation for Giving Tuesday (11/30), which, interestingly, includes expanding its neighbor-like ‘Neighborshoods’ feature, which has so far only been available to Canadian users.

As Facebook explains:

People are increasingly using Facebook to help the vulnerable in their local communities, support small businesses and share information in local groups. So, we expand the tests Neighborhoods, a unique destination for building and strengthening local communities on Facebook, in an additional 132 cities in the United States. ”

As you can see in the screenshots above, neighborhoods are a special element within Facebook, allowing users to join specific local communities, in order to better connect in your immediate area. Users can set up a neighborhood profile, which includes a separate neighborhood biography, along with your Facebook name and picture, which then allows you to connect with local community groups and causes, while also finding new interaction opportunities and tips.

Facebook launched the first neighborhood test in Calgary last October, before expanding it to more Canadian regions in May this year. And now, it’s arriving in American cities as well – which will no doubt be less than welcome news for Nextdoor, which for many has become a key tool for connecting communities.

Indeed, at the beginning of the pandemic, Nextdoor saw 80% increase in the number of users, with more and more people wanting to connect with local communities to better support their neighbors and local businesses. Groups on Facebook have also experienced a significant increase, and putting two and two together, neighborhoods could be a powerful tool for local connectivity – while Facebook is also adding a new element to ‘Giving Exchange’, which is a truly more systematic version of local ‘Buy, Replace’ and Sell ‘ groups.

Facebook Giving Exchange

It is a logical expansion, which could become a significant element. Already, 1.8 billion people use Facebook groups every month, many of them related to local news and events, and as more and more local publications are also forced to close due to the pandemic, it seems likely that more people will Now become even more reliant on Facebook for local news and links.

It will therefore be interesting to see how neighborhoods will be adopted by American users and how Facebook wants to maximize use and membership as a means to become a more critical means of local engagement.

Which also raises questions about Facebook’s algorithms and how they can heighten anxiety and divisions. We’ll have to wait and see if the wider Neighborhood launch will lead to similar impacts on a smaller scale, but that’s definitely an element to watch as Facebook seeks to expand its influence to more levels of civic interaction.

In addition to expanding neighborhoods, Facebook has announced a number of charity initiatives for Giving Tuesday, including:

  • Pairing up to $ 8 million in eligible donations to nonprofits in the United States
  • Coordinating fundraising from seven Instagram creators, up to $ 50,000 each, until Giving Tuesday
  • Expanding the range of non-profit organizations for which people can raise funds on Instagram
  • Holding a Warzone tournament on Facebook Gaming, and the funds raised go to charity of the game creator’s choice
Facebook Giving Tuesday

Facebook will also host its own #BuyBlack Friday campaign once again, which will help raise funds and raise awareness for black-owned businesses.

“In the United States, black-owned businesses are still among the hardest hit by the pandemic, and this holiday season will be a good one or a break for many of them. More than a third of American companies owned by blacks expect to generate at least half of their annual revenue in the last three months of this year. ”

The #BuyBlack Friday show will air every Friday in November on Facebook, while Facebook will also share different collections of #BuyBlack Friday gift guides, which will be available throughout the month on the Facebook and Instagram Shop tabs.

Facebook also shared this overview of how people can show their support on Giving Tuesday.

Facebook Giving Tuesday initiatives

As many regions are now entering a recovery phase, the effects of the pandemic will be felt for some time to come, which is why initiatives like Giving Tuesday are important as they provide more opportunities to highlight charitable causes and needs that require more focus and attention.

While it is interesting that Facebook is using the event to expand the introduction of neighborhoods, which could also have negative consequences. By using a more positive expansion movement, this could mask some of these less desirable effects, and it will be interesting to see what wider deployment means, in the long run, for local community engagement in the application.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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