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Is Google's new 'Neighbourly app' a new source of ad revenue for Google in India ?

Google’s Next Billion Users program is making headlines all across the media. It’s in the news for connecting railway stations with WiFi, building India-first products and features, and connecting rural India with the Internet and technology.

Gradually, the reach of the program is growing and covering all the major areas. The newest area of exploration is of social networking, an area where Google had failed multiple times.Unveiled in India this month under Google’s Next Billion Users program, Neighbourly, the hyperlocal social network, is a real-time app to answer one’s quick questions in English and 8 more local languages.The app provides precise information to people without getting them involved in group chats that ‘keep getting lengthier and noisier’, such as WhatsApp’s tendency to fill up the window with ‘good morning’ messages.,'

What Neighbourly is essentially about

In essence, Neighbourly, is a crowdsourced, questions and answers app, with great privacy features, where people in neighborhoods can collectively create a hyper-local guide with tips, shortcuts, recommendations, events etc.

Users will be able to post, answer, and follow questions on Neighbourly, and there's a feedback system wherein people rate answers. The most reliable answers to questions appear on top.Neighbourly relies heavily on what Google has learned from its search and digital assistant offerings. A third of searches in India are already voice-activated, so Neighbourly lets users ask questions verbally in their local language. The app provides helpful question starters such as "Where can I find..." "Who is the best..." or "Can you recommend..." to obviate the need for typing.
Neighbourly relies heavily on what Google has learned from its search and digital assistant offerings. A third of searches in India are already voice-activated, so Neighbourly lets users ask questions verbally in their local language. The app provides helpful question starters such as "Where can I find..." "Who is the best..." or "Can you recommend..." to obviate the need for typing.

The app uses familiar social networking techniques. Much the way Uber passengers can rate drivers, Neighbourly users accumulate credibility scores based on how others rank their responses. High-ranked answers bubble to the top.

Experts see a larger plan behind the launch of the platform. They believe that the launch of the social networking app opens a new source of ad revenue for Google which can sell high-priced targeted local ads while collecting more information about user preferences.Google had limited success with

Google+, Hangouts and Allo and time will tell if the company's strategy with Neighborly app succeed or not. I tried installing it and this is what i see after the installation. 



You can find more details about the app at https://neighbourly.google.com/


(The article is contributed by Chandrasekar V who is an expert on Cloud Technologies)

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