Google announced the national rollout of a new app from its Next Billion Users team called Neighbourly, which helps people source local information from their neighbours. With over 1.5 million downloads and half a million people on the waitlist, Google is rolling out Neighbourly nationally starting with Bangalore and Delhi which topped the waitlist.
Over the next few weeks, more cities will be added every day, including Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Indore and more. Users outside these cities can bring Neighbourly to their city faster by joining the waitlist!
Ben Fohner, Senior Product Manager, on Google’s Next Billion Users team said, “We’re committed to bringing the Internet alive for everyone in India, make it more useful for a billion Indians who speak in local Indian languages. We want to fill the hyper-local information gap that exists today and that’s why we launched Neighbourly earlier this year. In our research, we've found that most of life happens within a 1km radius of where you live. We’ve also found that when finding local information, people prefer to ask or discuss with another person. Neighbourly makes it easy to seek advice and recommendations from neighbours who know the area and have similar tastes. That’s why we built Neighbourly, that’s why people use it, and that’s why we’re so excited to make it available to everybody across India.”
The Neighbourly app made inroads in popular neighbourhoods in Mumbai first, followed by Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mysore, Vizag, Kochi, and Coimbatore. Early learnings and user feedback from these markets led to helpful insights. Many people, for example, asked to be able to join different neighbourhoods -- one where they live and one where they work. The team has incorporated this feedback and more:
Join your neighbourhood with a tap. You’ll get automatic suggestions on the nearest neighbourhood so you can jump right in.
Switch between multiple neighbourhoods. If you live in one neighbourhood but work in another, you can add both and switch between them one at a time -- hearing from neighbours in each.
See better questions just for you. Every time you open Neighbourly, you’ll see the best questions from your neighbourhood. The more you use Neighbourly, the more personalized it becomes.
Learn how to get more responses. If you ask a question that is unlikely to get an answer from your neighbours, you’ll receive a notification with some advice on how to best ask them again.
Keep Neighbourly “neighbourly”. If you’re among the most helpful in your neighbourhood, you can earn Top Neighbour status. Top Neighbours help pick the best questions in your neighbourhood and also identify the ones that don’t meet the “Neighbourly Promise”.
People are integrating Neighbourly into their daily routines, asking just about anything from the source of a strong LPG smell to why there are elephants on the street outside! Each city’s distinct personality comes out in the types of questions people are asking and answering:
Mumbai has seen questions about flooded areas during the heavy rains and finding the nearest Dahi Handi celebration. Food is always a popular topic, with questions about the best late night restaurants or seeking for the best street food: आमच्या परिसरात वडा पाव वाला किती वाजता येतो (What time does the vada pav seller come to our locality?)
Jaipur’s student community is active on the app, asking all kinds of questions relevant to their studies: Accounts ki class kaha milegi jaha par achi study hoti ho? (Where can I find a good accounting coaching, where quality of coaching is good?)
Recent shifters in Mysore use Neighbourly to help them find information about their new routines: Where can I get a water purifier service?
Families and housewives in Coimbatore seek advice on shopping for festivals: What are the fashion trends for girls at affordable price range?
The Neighbourly app is available on the Google Play Store for all smartphones running Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) and higher. Neighbourly will be live for users across India in the next few days. To bring Neighbourly in their city, users can show interest by joining the waitlist! So get ready to discover your neighbourhood — finding tips, hotspots, and hidden gems from neighbours who know best. http://neighbourly.google.com