Neighbourly app was introduced in India by Google in May 2018. Initially, it was launched in Mumbai and Jaipur, the app is now moving across the country to connect five more cities of India. The aim of this hyperlocal app is to not only connect people but to share the entirety of their knowledge as well.
The Recently Connected Neighbourhoods
Google’s Neighbourly app is being rolled out in Kota, Vizag, Mysore, Coimbatore, and Ahmedabad. According to Google, the five selected cities were chosen after severe user testing over the past several months. In an official press release, the company stated that the team of Google’s Next Billion Users was attracted by the dynamics of the selected cities. The team carried out a multitude of studies and spoke to various neighborhood locals during their stay in these five cities.
The Old Neighbourhood Reveal
As per Josh Woodward, Group Production Manager of Google’s Next Billion Users team, after their research into the app’s use by residents of Mumbai and Jaipur, the initial recipients of the Neighbourly app, they found that different age groups in the two cities used the app in different ways to search for answers in their neighborhood.
The Advantage of the Neighbourly App
The Neighbourly app helps its user’s answers queries related to food, fitness, shopping, and tuition centres. As per Ben Fohner, Product Manager of Google’s Next Billion Users team, neighbours are the best source of information, that can’t be compared to one found anywhere else. Neighbourly, Fohner said, have answers to all types of queries from recommending an art teacher for an elementary aged kid or the best place to mending tyre punctures.
According to Woodward, “With Neighbourly, we are able to address the local information needs of India’s fast-growing internet users in their neighbourhood. We’re excited about the adoption and early engagement and are looking forward to providing a useful experience to people in five new cities across India.”
About 20 percent of people who use the Neighbourly app to ask a question, tap the screen to voice their question. On an average, they get four relevant and checked answers in either written or spoken manner. A user can ask or respond to a question in his or her mother tongue. According to Fohner, besides English, the Neighbourly app can recognize eight other regional languages that include Hindi, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati, and Malayalam.
Google takes its users safety very seriously. That is why replies Fohner, only questions, and answers posted by the user are visible in their profile. Besides their first name, their age, location, email address, phone number, etc. nothing else is revealed by the app. In fact, there is no way to message a user directly in the Neighbourly app.
Before its launch in five new cities of India, Google updated the app with spanking new features and tweaked a few in order to get better results. Google improved the voice input experience which now comes with better controls on the app. Another improvement was made in the app’s response language. The app’s ability to respond to a query in the spoken language has been upgraded as well. For faster and easier conversation, the app now supports inline responses. The app can now club the homogenous responses in response to a query, together.