Google Neighbourly, the app which comes from the company's ambitious Next Billion Users team, is now rolling out nationally in India. The crowdsourcing-style app was originally launched in Mumbai back in May and is aimed to offer a platform to help people source local information from their neighbours. While its debut was limited to Mumbai and Jaipur, the Neighbourly app reached Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, Kota, Mysore, and Vizag in September. It is touted to have over 1.5 million downloads and half a million people on its waitlist.
The Neighbourly app is rolling out nationally starting with Bengaluru and Delhi that both topped the waitlist, Google said on Wednesday. The search giant is also in plans to add more cities on a daily basis and bring the app to Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Lucknow, and Indore over the next few weeks. Users outside these cities can bolster the rollout of the Neighbourly app by joining the waitlist, the company said.
Google launched the Neighbourly app in Mumbai earlier this year - followed by Jaipur as well as five additional Indian cities, including Ahmedabad, Mysore, Vizag, Kochi, and Coimbatore. The app is designed to make it easier for people in a city to ask local questions and find reliable and relevant answers directly from their neighbours. It works in English and eight other Indian languages.
Through the initial rollout of the Neighbourly app, Google said that it found that many people asked to be able to join different neighbourhoods. This feedback has been taken into account and helped the team bring features such as automatic suggestions on the nearest neighbourhood, switch between multiple neighbourhoods, personalised questions, advice on how to ask response-attracting questions, and give Top Neighbour status.
Amongst other questions, Google said that people were asking about anything from the source of a strong LPG smell to why there are elephants on the street. Each city's distinct personality comes out in the types of questions people are asking and answering, the company believed.
"In our research, we've found that most of life happens within a 1km radius of where you live," said Ben Fohner, Senior Product Manager, Google's Next Billion Users team, in a statement. "We've also found that when finding local information, people prefer to ask or discuss with another person. Neighbourly makes it easy to seek advice and recommendations from neighbours who know the area and have similar tastes. That's why we built Neighbourly, that's why people use it, and that's why we're so excited to make it available to everybody across India."
The Neighbourly app is available for free download through Google Play. It works with devices running at least Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.