Google has launched a new Android app in beta called Neighbourly targeted at neighbourhood communities.
The app allows users to ask questions to their neighbours by text or by voice, share local expertise and keep up with updates from their neighbourhood.
The app works in English and eight Indian languages. Google said the service is currently available in Mumbai although other users can join the waitlist and also invite their neighbours.
Personal details like phone numbers, full name and other contact information are however kept private from other users, the company said. The app will be available for all smartphones that are running on Android 4.3 or later.
Google’s Hyperlocal initiatives in India
Neighbourly is Google’s latest offering in the hyperlocal service segment in India. In April last year, Google debuted a food delivery and home services app Areo in Bengaluru and Mumbai, which has since been expanded to Delhi, Gurgaon and Pune.
It also led a Series C funding round into online-to-offline fashion e-commerce platform Fynd in March this year and picked up a minority stake in Bengaluru-based hyper-local concierge and delivery player Dunzo in December last year.
While the idea of Neighbourly itself is not really new, since citizens typically have had a range of neighbourhood groups on platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp, this app seems to solve the discovery part for users who might have newly moved to an area.
What would be interesting is whether the data generated in this app eventually flows through other Google services like Google Assistant, Google Maps or Google Search.
This could also be one of the ideal use cases for Google’s recently launched smart speakers Google Home & Google Home Mini, thereby providing them with an edge over rival Amazon’s Echo family of devices.
— With assistance by Vikas SN