Social media consultant Matt Navarra shared screenshots via Twitter, and the social network confirmed the test, with a spokesperson saying, “More than ever, people are using Facebook to participate in their local communities. To help make it easier to do this, we are rolling out a limited test of Neighborhoods, a dedicated space within Facebook for people to connect with their neighbors.”
Navarra was tipped off by Calgary-based social media strategist Leon Grigg of Grigg Digital.
Ingrid Lunden of TechCrunch shared further details on Neighborhoods, saying that it appears in the main menu in Facebook’s flagship application, alongside staples such as events, friends, groups, Marketplace and pages.
Lunden added that the Neighborhood groups—different from traditional Facebook groups—are generated by Facebook, rather than being created and run by administrators, and they appear to be set up to open once enough people in the area express interest.
Navarra said once users choose their local Neighborhood, they can grant Facebook permission to use their location to display groups, Marketplace items, posts and other content from other users in the area.
He added that Neighborhoods profiles can be created, separate from main Facebook profiles, and people can leave or change Neighborhoods at any time and access dedicated privacy options.
Facebook also alerts Neighborhoods users that they activity may be used to show them hyperlocal or more relevant ads, Navarra said.