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Nextdoor is a social networking service for neighborhoods. Based in San Francisco, California, the company was founded in 2008 and launched in the United States in October 2011,[2] and is currently available in 11 countries. Users of Nextdoor submit their real names and addresses (or street without the exact number) to the website. Posts made to the website are available only to other Nextdoor members living in the same neighborhood.[3]

Nextdoor Inc.
Nextdoor logo green.svg
Type of businessPrivate
Type of site
Social networking service
Founded2008; 11 years ago (2008)
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California, US
Area servedAustralia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Denmark [1]
Created bySarah Leary, Nirav Tolia, Prakash Janakiraman, David Wiesen
Key peopleSarah Friar (CEO)
Websitenextdoor.com
Native client(s) oniOS, Android, web

UseEdit

Typical platform uses include neighbors reporting on news and events in their "neighborhood" and members asking each other for local service-provider recommendations.[4] "Neighborhood" borders were initially established with Maponics, a provider of geographical information.[3] According to the platform's rules, members whose addresses fall outside the boundaries of existing neighborhoods can establish their own neighborhoods.[5][6] "Founding" members of neighborhoods determine the name of the neighborhood and its boundaries, although Nextdoor retains the authority to change either of these.[7] A member must attract a minimum of 10 households to establish a new "neighborhood," as of November 2016.[8]

While allowing for "civil debate", the platform prohibits canvassing for votes on forums. The service does however allow separate forums just for political discussions. According to the New York Times, these discussions are "separated from [a user's regular] neighborhood feeds".[9] The company had established these separate forums in 12 markets by 2018. The company has stated it "has no plans" to accept political advertising.[9]

PartnershipsEdit

The company exchanges services with government agencies such as the California Secretary of State's office and the District of Columbia Board of Elections. These public agencies collect and present voter-education information, such as voting locations and voter registration deadlines. This is offered as a link in the Nextdoor platform for members in those neighborhoods.[10]

The platform reports increased activity during disasters.[11] In May 2017, the company offered its services to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to facilitate the delivery of geo-targeted "emergency and disaster preparedness" alerts through the platform.[12] A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration partnership allows Nextdoor to send out local-community alerts during extreme weather incidents.[9]

HistoryEdit

Nextdoor was co-founded by Sarah Leary, Nirav Tolia, Prakash Janakiraman and David Wiesen in 2008. Tolia had previously helped start Epinions. Early investors included Benchmark Capital, Shasta Ventures, and Rich Barton. As of February 2014 Nextdoor had 80 to 100 employees.[13] In July 2012, Nextdoor raised US$18.6 million in venture capital funding.[14] Dan Clancy (formerly of Google) joined Nextdoor in February 2014.[15]

Nextdoor introduced advertising to the platform, including real estate advertising, in 2017.[16] Advertising includes posts inside user's feeds about business services and products. In February 2017, Nextdoor acquired the UK local social network service Streetlife in a "multimillion pound deal".[17] The service became available in the Netherlands in February 2016[18], in Germany in 2017,[19] and in France in February 2018.[20] Nextdoor also launched in Italy and Spain during September 2018.[21]

As of December 2017 Nextdoor had raised $285 million in financing.[22] About $75 million in new funding announced that month put its valuation at $1.5 billion.[23]

In July 2018, Nirav Tolia, Nextdoor's then CEO and one of its co-founders, announced plans to bring in someone else to take over the position of chief executive officer,[24] stating he intended to become chair of the company's board once the transition is complete.

In October 2018, Sarah Friar, the former chief financial officer at Square, became the chief executive officer at Nextdoor, taking over from co-founder Nirav Tolia.[25]

In May 2019, Nextdoor raised $123 million at $2.1 billion valuation.[26]

ControversiesEdit

Starting around 2015, concerns about Nextdoor being used for racial profiling within neighborhoods arose around the country.[27][28] In 2016, Nextdoor said it was a social problem found on any public platform, but could be particularly acute on Nextdoor.[28]

Law enforcement officials in Oakland, California, who had generally embraced the forum as a means to connect with local residents, were wary of being seen as endorsing or associating with a website that enables racial profiling.[28] Nextdoor changed its user interface, saying the purpose was to make it harder for users to create race-based posts.[29] After the change, the Oakland Police Department said the changes made Nextdoor "more helpful" to the police department's work.[30]

The police department in Seattle had been engaging with people through "town hall meetings" held on the platform, but in 2016 local journalist Erica C. Barnett reported the meeting's possible conflict with Washington's open meeting laws.[31] Reporting from The Atlantic has discussed further concerns over hyperactive "crime and safety" sections of Seattle's private community pages. According to The Atlantic, "Seattle Mayor Ed Murray derided an atmosphere of 'paranoid hysteria' he'd witnessed on the message boards of some of Seattle's more upscale neighborhoods."[31] The mayor told KUOW-FM, the local NPR affiliate, that Seattle's wealthiest areas are some of the most active communities on Nextdoor.[32] "The neighborhoods where most of the social-media complaints are coming out of are not even the neighborhoods that have significant crime problems, which tend to be our communities of color in the south part of the city. If it's simply about creating a sense of paranoia or if it's about stigmatizing folks in our city that are struggling, then I have to think about why we're in that kind of partnership."[31]

On May 14, 2014, Nirav Tolia, the then-CEO of Nextdoor, was charged with felony hit-and-run for allegedly fleeing a crash on Highway 101 in Brisbane, California that left a woman injured. "It's ironic that the CEO of a company that is holding itself out as trying to promote neighborliness, crime watch and things like that flees the scene of an accident that he caused and doesn't bother to call 911 or stay around to exchange information or see if he caused any injuries," said the woman's attorney, Joseph Brent.[33]

Nextdoor's different privacy and safety policies reportedly provoked concerns among some users of Streetlife.[34][35]

Robert E. Kraut and Tom Lodge have both described how moderation structures and power dynamics are concerns in any online community.[36][37] With respect to that moderation structure, Christina Masden et al., in a 2014 study of three neighborhoods in Atlanta, Georgia, found that Nextdoor's potential lay in "fostering grassroots moderation rather than the top-down approach they are currently using."[38]:3247 Masden's study also stated that despite the availability of other means of networking, participants found the Nextdoor application organizing and archiving their interactions "in ways that added value, above and beyond what they could accomplish with traditional media."[38]:3246

In March and April 2019, HuffPost and Wired reported that Nextdoor had paid a firm to improve its reputation by lobbying for changes to the Wikipedia articles on Nextdoor, NBC and several others.[39][40]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ ca.nextdoor.com
  2. ^ Lee, Ellen (March 2, 2012). "Nextdoor offers online forum for neighborhoods". San Francisco Chronicle.
  3. ^ a b Stross, Randall (12 May 2012). "Meet Your Neighbors, if Only Online". New York Times. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  4. ^ Bogost, Ian (20 June 2018). "What Petty Nextdoor Posts Reveal About America". The Atlantic.
  5. ^ Lightner, Rob (21 September 2012). "Start or join a neighborhood social network with Nextdoor". CNET. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  6. ^ "How are Nextdoor neighborhoods created?". Nextdoor.com. Nextdoor. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  7. ^ "How are Nextdoor neighborhoods created?". Nextdoor. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  8. ^ Kalen, Christian (28 November 2016). "Sonoma is a Nextdoor neighborhood". Sonoma Index-Register. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "Nextdoor and NOAA Partner to Better Prepare Americans for Severe Weather". www.govtech.com. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  10. ^ Holson, Laura (13 July 2018). "Nextdoor Is Betting a Social Network Can Still Be a Platform for Politics". Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Nextdoor helps neighbors connect during Harvey". KHOU. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  12. ^ "FEMA Emergency Messaging to Start on Nextdoor App | EfficientGov". EfficientGov. 2017-05-24. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  13. ^ Isaac, Mike (February 4, 2014). "Nextdoor Taps Google Vet Dan Clancy for VP of Engineering Post". Re/code. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  14. ^ Bopper, Ben (July 24, 2012). "Nextdoor, the social network for neighbors, raises $18.6 million to help Americans stop bowling alone". The Verge.
  15. ^ Website Dan Clancy, Feb. 2014
  16. ^ Kolodny, Lora (2017-08-08). "Billion-dollar neighborhood social network Nextdoor moves against Zillow, Redfin". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  17. ^ Cellan-Jones, Rory (6 February 2017). "US neighbours' network Nextdoor buys UK's Streetlife". BBC News.
  18. ^ "facebook voor buren gelanceerd in nederland". Volkskrant. February 16, 2016. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  19. ^ "Why Nextdoor Believes It Can Be Social Media's Next $1 Billion Advertising Machine". Retrieved 2018-05-05.
  20. ^ "Nextdoor is expanding to France to connect neighbors – TechCrunch". techcrunch.com. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  21. ^ Sweeney, Deborah (2018-09-21). "Lessons Of Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs Who Founded Unicorn Companies". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-09-21. This week, Leary is in Italy and Spain launching the Nextdoor presence in both countries.
  22. ^ "Nextdoor Raises $75M Funding Round, Easily One of Gov Tech's Largest Deals of the Year". www.govtech.com. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  23. ^ "Nextdoor raised about $75 million to connect neighbors – TechCrunch". techcrunch.com. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  24. ^ Wagner, Kurt; Schleifer, Theodore (25 July 2018). "The CEO of Nextdoor, Nirav Tolia, will step down". Recode. Vox Media. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  25. ^ Wagner, Kurt (10 October 2018). "Square CFO Sarah Friar is leaving to become the CEO of Nextdoor — which means she won't become the CEO of Square". Recode. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  26. ^ "Neighborhood social network Nextdoor raises $123 million at $2.1 billion valuation". VentureBeat. 2019-05-14. Retrieved 2019-06-17.
  27. ^ Levin, Sam (October 7, 2015). "Racial Profiling Via Nextdoor.com". East Bay Express. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  28. ^ a b c Medina, Jennifer (May 18, 2016). "Website Meant to Connect Neighbors Hears Complaints of Racial Profiling". The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  29. ^ "How Nextdoor Addressed Racial Profiling on Its Platform". Harvard Business Review. 2018-05-11. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  30. ^ Shahani, Aarti (August 23, 2016). "Social Network Nextdoor Moves To Block Racial Profiling Online". National Public Radio. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  31. ^ a b c Waddell, Kaveh (4 May 2016). "The Police Officer 'Nextdoor'". The Atlantic.
  32. ^ "The Record: Thursday, Feb 25, Full Show". KUOW / NPR. 25 February 2016.
  33. ^ Lee, Henry K (May 14, 2014) "Police-friendly tech CEO charged with hit-and-run." San Francisco Chronicle. (Retrieved 4-17-2014.)
  34. ^ Cellan-Jones, Rory (9 February 2017). "Streetlife users in Nextdoor privacy row". BBC News.
  35. ^ Streetlife users urged to consider privacy & safety Get Safe Online 17 Feb 2017
  36. ^ Kraut, Robert E.; Resnick, Paul (2012). Building Successful Online Communities. doi:10.7551/mitpress/8472.001.0001.
  37. ^ Lodge, Tom; Rodden, Tom; Mortier, Richard (2013). Communities in the Clouds: Support for High-rise Living. Proceedings of the 2013 ACM Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing Adjunct Publication. ACM. pp. 829–836. doi:10.1145/2494091.2497324.
  38. ^ a b Masden, Christina A.; Grevet, Catherine; Grinter, Rebecca E.; Gilbert, Eric; Edwards, W. Keith (2014). Tensions in Scaling-up Community Social Media: A Multi-neighborhood Study of Nextdoor. Proceedings of the 32Nd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (PDF). ACM. pp. 3239–3248. doi:10.1145/2556288.2557319.
  39. ^ Feinberg, Ashley (March 14, 2019). "Facebook, Axios And NBC Paid This Guy To Whitewash Wikipedia Pages". HuffPost. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  40. ^ Cohen, Noam (April 7, 2019). "Want to Know How to Build a Better Democracy? Ask Wikipedia". Wired. Retrieved May 17, 2019.

External linksEdit