Meta is axing Facebook's Nextdoor-like product called Neighborhoods before it even becomes available to most users. The social network started offering it to select users in Canada back in 2020, touting it as a dedicated space where people can interact with their local communities. It expanded its tests last year and rolled out access to various communities across Canada and the US. Based on the screenshot of a post written by a Meta product manager and obtained by social media consultant Matt Navarra, the company is ending its test of Neighborhoods on October 1st. It will no longer be available after that date.
Groups revolving around local communities aren't new or rare on the website, but Neighborhoods spaces come with special features. They allow users to create separate profiles where they can limit their public information if they don't want people nearby to know too much about them. Users can also find groups for specific activities that are populated with locals through the Neighborhoods tab.
The product manager didn't mention why Meta is shutting down Neighborhoods in their announcement. According to TechCrunch, though, the company said it originally invested in the project when it saw how popular Nextdoor was. However, it reportedly decided that the best thing to do for this particular area is to let people form their own local communities using the website's existing Groups feature.
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) September 1, 2022
Another possible explanation is that Meta is shutting down the project as part of its cost-cutting efforts. It also recently announced that it's closing the standalone Facebook Gaming app in what could be a move to help the company survive what Mark Zuckerberg calls "one of the worst downturns [it has seen] in recent history."