What Is Nextdoor?

The private social network for neighbors

Ever wanted to know exactly what's going on in your neighborhood, without having to physically visit each nearby house on your street or door in your apartment building for a friendly (but time-consuming) chitchat session with every individual neighbor? Well, now you don't have to anymore thanks to the Nextdoor private social networking app!

Wait, What? Why Not Just Use Facebook?

There are a billion many social networks to keep up with these days, and most people often default to using Facebook or email when they need to get in touch, mainly because almost everyone is on it already. But for people who truly enjoy getting involved in their community and care about the safety and well-being of every resident in their neighborhood, the Nextdoor app is worth trying out and inviting neighbors to join too.

See What's Going on in Your Community with This Cool New App

Aerial shot of suburban neighborhood
Michael H/Stone/Getty Images

Your Nextdoor network is completely private, created just for you and the residents in your own local neighborhood. With it, you can:

  • Notify residents about a break-in, damage to property or other suspicious activity
  • Organize a Neighborhood Watch Group
  • Get referrals for a babysitter, dentist, doctor, hair dresser, etc.
  • Get referrals for home repair or maintenance service providers
  • Notify residents of a lost pet
  • Notify residents of your upcoming yard sale
  • Post an ad for an item you'd like to sell or give away
  • Resolve mail or package delivery mix-ups

It's a dedicated place where you can keep up with everything that goes on in just your own neighborhood, and because only local residents who join your private network are able to see what's posted, you never have to worry about unnecessary sharing among other friends or complete strangers who don't live nearby.

How It Works

Nextdoor can be accessed on the web, or by downloading the free apps for iPhone or Android devices. The service is currently being used by over 54,000 U.S. neighborhoods, and you can sign up for a free account by entering your address and email information.

Once you've added a few neighbors and start posting, you should notice that it looks and feels similar to any other popular social network — complete with a news feed and profile information for each neighbor. The main tabs you'll be using include:

  • Home: This is where you'll see a feed of all the most recent posts and interactions in your network. 
  • Inbox: For getting in touch with an individual neighbor, you can privately message them directly through Nextdoor.
  • Neighbors: See a list of everyone who's in your network.
  • Map: See an interactive map of your neighborhood with houses marked that are in your Nextdoor network.
  • Events: Similar to Facebook Events, anyone can post a new event to Nextdoor to notify and invite neighbors to upcoming yard sales, potlucks, pool parties or anything else.
  • Categories: Anyone can make a new post under the appropriate category it falls under, such as Classifieds, Crime & Safety, Documents, Free Items and others.
  • Groups: For neighbors who want to get together to discuss specific topics, you can create a group for anything like.

Nextdoor also offers an extremely useful Urgent Alert feature, which allows neighbors to instantly send out time-sensitive messages via SMS text or email. 

Why It's Trendy

Nextdoor helps solve a problem that virtually everyone has to deal with — staying safe and informed about the things that happen around where they live. Local TV news stations and newspapers are on their way out, and the social web is in.

Location-based social apps are part of a big trend right now, helping people drill down the results they're looking for right around them in their area. Tinder is the hot new dating app people are loving for quickly finding potential matches in their area, and Yik Yak is the cool anonymous status sharing app dominating school campuses.

Don't be surprised to find more apps popping up that ask to use your location. Location-targeted information and online communities are where the mobile web has been headed for some time already.

Want more great location apps to try? Check out these five apps that give you real user tips and reviews for all sorts of places around you.