Google to shut down its India-focused Q&A app Neighbourly

Google is shutting down Neighbourly, a Q&A social app that it launched in Mumbai two years ago, the company has informed users. A spokesperson confirmed the move to TechCrunch.

The app, developed by company’s Next Billion Initiative, aimed to give local communities an outlet to seek answers to practical questions about life, routine and more.

At the time of the app’s launch, Google told TechCrunch that it believed that an increase in urban migration, short-term leasing and busy lives had changed the dynamic of local communities and made it harder to share information quite so easily.

The app supported voice-based entry for questions and a range of local languages.

In an email, Google said Neighbourly helped users find answers to over a million questions, but it did not get the traction the company was hoping for. The app will shut down on May 12, but users have another six months to download their data.

“We launched Neighbourly as a beta product in Mumbai, India in May, 2018. We set out to build a helpful neighbourhood app that would let neighbours help each other find answers to everyday questions about their neighbourhoods. This was in line with Google’s mission to organise the world’s information and make it available to users everywhere, but the product hasn’t grown like we had hoped,” a Google spokesperson told TechCrunch .

In its email to users, the company urged them to explore Google Maps’ Local Guide, which also allows sharing of knowledge with local communities.

The app had such low-traction that third-party intelligence services such as App Annie and Sensor Tower don’t have any substantial data about it. But on Play Store, Neighbourly is listed to have more than 10 million downloads. The app was downloaded fewer than 5,000 times in February this year, according to Sensor Tower.

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