Add another victim to the Meta hit list as the company recently announced that Facebook Neighborhoods would close on October 1.
The closure notice was first shared by social media consultant Matt Navarra on Twitter (opens in a new tab) who posted a screenshot of a Meta project manager under the nickname Tohm posting an announcement in a Facebook group. The project manager goes on to say that the official Neighborhood Group will close on September 7 and the official service will close on October 1.
Facebook Neighborhoods has been dubbed Met’s response to Nextdoor (opens in a new tab), a social networking app where people can share posts, messages and sell items to others living in their area. The neighborhoods first appeared in late 2020 when they were launched as a pilot program in Calgary, Canada, before officially in the rest of the country and select US cities (opens in a new tab) in May 2021
Districts have a similar function to Facebook groups but have some unique features such as allowing people to create different profiles independent of their main account for their location. The website, however, was plagued by privacy concerns. When it was first tested, some were concerned that Neighborhoods could be used to collect user data and deliver targeted advertising.
Initially, it was unknown why the Meta was closing the Districts. The Meta project manager did not say why in the post.
We contacted Meta and a company representative told us that “he found out that the best place to support … local communities is in the past [G]groups “. The neighborhood was supposed to be a way to unite local communities, but Facebook Groups has already done it well.
In addition, Meta is working on Facebook’s search function to be more of a “discovery engine” as the representative describes it. This “search engine” will contain local content and groups will appear more frequently to help find public communities. Instagram Reels will also gain more priority to help people share and discuss their interests.
Basically, Meta is re-focusing its efforts on features that it considers to be better. However, the closure of Neighborhoods is a continuation of the recent cancellation craze by the tech giant that cuts out unpopular features.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first broke, Meta launched a series of features designed to support online interactions as people will spend more time indoors. But over time, the company gradually got rid of them.
You had services like Live shopping on Facebook, Novi digital walletand Facebook Gambling will come out during a pandemic and each of them will get an ax. Some applications such as Tuned which started out as a way of keeping couples in touch during social distancing have managed to survive to this point, but for how much longer?
It’s also important to point out that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in July Q&A session with employees (opens in a new tab) the company is going through one of the worst crises [it’s] seen in recent history ”. If this slowdown is indeed the cause of this cancellation craze, be prepared to have many more features hacked.
By shedding these pandemic traits, Meta seems to throw the proverbial spaghetti against the wall and see what’s holding up. According to the disclosed note, Facebook and Instagram may start to charge for some premium features. Some users, like Daryl Baxter from , are not at least unhappy with this new direction.