Eighteen months after alaunch, San Francisco-based startup Nextdoor is making its neighborhood-only social networks accessible from iPhone and giving people a quick-response way to spread urgent alerts or exchange messages with neighbors.
Nextdoor plays host to nearly 13,000 neighborhood networks spread across all 50 states in the U.S., with each one private to members in the area who must verify their address before they join.
The service, which has raised around $50 million in funding, is partnered with more than 100 police departments to provide people with information on pressing city matters. It has particularly high neighborhood penetration rates in urban metros such as San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, San Diego, and Dallas.
Thursday, Nextdoor arrives on iPhone to help community members get critical information on neighborhood happenings faster. The application features a news feed of most recent updates, supports private messages, and comes with a neighborhood directory. Neighborhood participants can use Nextdoor for iPhone to post texts, photos, and urgent alerts, or invite other locals to join. The app also comes with a notification tray that lights up with new activity, and turns red whenever someone sends out an urgent alert.
The mobile release makes Nextdoor infinitely more useful for people who want to alert their neighbors to break-ins, recruit help in finding a lost dog, warn about road construction, or just find someone who can supply milk for that recipe already in the works.
"Of all these social networks that you see out there, we have the most , real-time information of any of them," co-founder and CEO Nirav Tolia told CNET. The notion of Nextdoor as a virtual neighborhood watch accelerates with mobile, he said.
That is, of course, if your neighborhood is actively using Nextdoor. In San Francisco, where the average Nextdoor network has around 750 members, activity levels are high with people pulling together to crowdsource crime-solving and help each other out. In less-developed private social networks, however, the experience is much quieter. A community of 50 or so people will likely see just three to five new posts per week, Tolia said. Nextdoor's iPhone app could go a long way in encouraging regular activity in these less populous networks.