Published: 22nd November 2018
Need something in your area? Google's Neighbourly app will get you the answer from people who live around you
Google also makes sure to protect the user's privacy and does not act like a social media platform
Picture this. You're preparing for a competitive examination and you realise that you need a study guide. You're too broke (duh, you're a student) to buy a new one and there's not much time to drive across the city. On top of that, you're not really a people person. What do you do now? If you're in an Indian city, all you have to do is download Google's new Neighbourly app and post a question on where to find a second-hand guide nearby. Within no time, you'll start getting answers from the people in your neighbourhood.
Forget knocking on the neighbour's door with an awkward smile. To put it in layman's words, it is a Quora-like platform, where everyone who answers your question lives near you and the answers are restricted only to the app. Also, you can only follow questions and not people.
The app, exclusive for India that is already launched in nine cities — Mumbai, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mysuru, Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Coimbatore, Bengaluru and Delhi will be launched in Chennai on Friday. Google plans to expand it to Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Indore soon and later spread to all Indian cities.
"As soon as you as a question, you're not asking one person. You're asking everyone in your neigbourhood. It is a quicker way to get you a better answer," says Ben Fohner, Senior Product Manager, Next Billion Users, Google, adding, "We want to fill the hyper-local information gap that exists today and that's why we launched Neighbourly. It makes seeking advice and recommendations easier."
Users are free to ask each other anything in their community and queries here are neighbourhood specific. A user who logs in to this app using their Gmail id can only be part of a maximum of three neighbourhoods. The answers can be followed up by questions and the users can even add Google Maps links to their answers.
Unlike other social media platforms, users only get to see each others' first names and a thumbnail-sized profile picture. There is no option here to screenshot profiles and personal chats are also not available. Apart from that, Google ensures that business/products are not promoted via answers and questions, which cannot be more than 140-character-long. The Google team also ensures that the answers and actions are constantly monitored by the team to provide a safe browsing experience.
The app is available on the Google Play Store for all smartphones running Android 4.3 and higher.
Find more information: neighbourly.