Facebook is already working to clone NextDoor before the company becomes super popular and successful: “Facebook Inc. is building a feature for users of its social network to connect with their neighbors, a push toward more intimate interactions that treads on the idea behind rival Nextdoor Inc., which is considering a public offering.” That is a pattern in the operations of ICT utilities like Facebook and Google. When they see what works, they quickly find a way to put such into their ecosystems in order to prevent users from leaving their platforms.
Call it building a moat to protect the castle. As I noted in a Harvard Business Review piece, you must be strategic if you plan to initiate a frontal confrontation with ICT utilities. But I will suggest you forget frontal attack; a flank existence may be better. With the cloud of Neighborhoods on NextDoor, investors may be cold as NextDoor goes to the public markets. If that happens, Facebook has done the damage, chipping out some needed resources which the company needs to thrive.
Facebook is developing a new feature called Neighborhoods that will provide users a private space to connect with their neighbors. Sound familiar? That’s probably because NextDoor, which is considering filing for an initial public offering, already does that. Facebook told Bloomberg it’s testing the feature in Calgary, Canada. True to form, the social media giant aims to recreate the success of a soon-to-be rival on its own service (Fortune newsletter).
Nextdoor is the neighborhood hub for trusted connections and the exchange of helpful information, goods, and service. According to Bloomberg, “Facebook also has a history of mimicking rival products, and has been accused of copying many over the years, including the popular Stories feature created by Snapchat. … The screenshots posted to suggest Facebook’s Neighborhoods product will work in a similar way to Nextdoor”.
We all like neighborhoods but I do not think NextDoor will like Neighborhoods!