Facebook began testing a new feature allowing people to find local user communities and discover places nearby, in what appears to be an effort to boost user engagement on the platform.
In a blog, product manager Reid Patton said the Facebook Neighborhoods tool will be integrated into the main Facebook app as part of the test, with the aim to help people get to know their neighbours, after discovering the importance of building connections during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.
A user’s profile on the neighbourhood page will be different from their Facebook account, and they will be able to introduce themselves by publishing a post or listing their interests and favourite places.
The feature will also let people create groups based on their interests.
Patton explained user activity and data within the tool “may be used” for personalised ads across Facebook.
Facebook commenced trials of Facebook Neighborhoods in Canada, with upcoming tests to be rolled out to certain US cities in the near future.
The move could be seen as an effort by the company to boost user engagement on the platform after noting participation slowdown: in Q1 it recorded a single-digit increase in daily active users (DAUs) count for the first time since Q4 2019.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back